Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist --Russell Davies, BBC2 August 2013
Not only is Peplowski considered the greatest living jazz clarinetist, he is also a renowned tenor saxophone player, and a charismatic entertainer. He has been delighting audiences for over 30 years with his warmth, wit, and musicianship.
Ken started playing music as a child, performing with his trumpeter brother in their hometown of Cleveland. By the time he hit high school, he was playing jazz gigs around town with local musicians every night. After his first year of college, Ken joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. He met Sonny Stitt while on the road with the Dorsey band, and studied with him before moving to New York City, where he played in settings ranging from Dixieland to avant-garde jazz. In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.
Peplowski signed with Concord Records, under the tutelage of Carl Jefferson, the founder and president, and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader.
Ken has collaborated with top artists such as Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, James Moody, Cedar Walton, HSteve Allen, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, Marianne Faithfull, Isaac Delgado, and more. Among other awards, he was the 2015 recipient of HotHouse Magazine’s “Fans’ Decision Jazz Award” on clarinet.
The late Mel Torme´said, "Since the advent of Benny Goodman, there have been too few clarinetists to fill the void that Goodman left. Ken Peplowski is most certainly one of those few. The man is magic.” We are lucky to have such a living legend at Arts Garage.
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