September 2008

Boisdale Backs the Kings of Swing Artie Shaw & Benny Goodman Tribute Concerts

Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, two of the greatest names in classic jazz, are to be honoured by the "Kings Of Swing" concert series at the Cadogan Hall, home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sponsored by Boisdale, the first concert on 23 September is Artie Shaw with Strings. The show will feature James Langton's 26-piece Solid Senders Orchestra with Mark Crooks as soloist and Louise Cookman as featured singer. A sixteen-piece swing band will be joined by nine string players in versions of Stardust, Frenesi, Dancing In The Dark and Concerto For Clarinet.

Artie Shaw's experiments with big band and strings have become a legend of the Swing Era. Yet until Langton, for many years the singer/leader of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, presented the original string arrangements in two sold out concerts in Dublin, the arrangements had not been performed since the early 1940s. The Cadogan Hall show will be the first time this music has been performed in a London concert hall.

On 12 October, to mark its 70th anniversary, "Kings Of Swing" will recreate Benny Goodman's famous Carnegie Hall concert - the most memorable moment of which was the 12-minute Sing Sing Sing, a showcase in 1938 for the drumming star Gene Krupa and which in 2008 Boisdale’s director of music, Richard Pite, will recreate. Pete Long (ex star of Jools Holland's Orchestra and leader of Ronnie Scott's Big Band) takes the role of Benny Goodman. Also on the musical menu are Loch Lomond, Don't Be That Way, Bei Mir Bist du Schoen, Blue Skies and One O'Clock Jump.

Fortunately, the Concert on 16 January 1938 was recorded and represented the first time a jazz ensemble had ever played the Carnegie Hall. The sell-out performance left no doubt of the popularity of swing dance bands and the CD, Benny Goodman: The Complete Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert plus 1950's material, remains one of Goodman’s most popular.

Prior to the concerts at the Cadogan Hall, Boisdale of Belgravia is offering a series of intimate previews throughout September and much of October. On 18 September James Langton will step off the plane from New York to present an Artie Shaw evening featuring stars from his Solid Senders Orchestra. On 26 September Pete Long's Benny Goodman Quartet, along with singer Joan Viskant, will feature at Boisdale. The Goodman Quartet will return for further shows at Boisdale on 2, 3 and 10 October.

Information on the "Kings of Swing" concert series, sponsored by Boisdale, can be found at www.kingsofswingconcerts.co.uk. Tickets direct from the Cadogan Hall box office (tel: 020 7730 4500; www.cadonganhall.com).

Live music is performed Monday to Saturday at Boisdale of Belgravia from 10pm to midnight (9.30pm to 11.30pm on Monday). The musical cover charge after 10pm is just £4.50 for diners and £12 for bar customers. Reservations on 020 7730 6922 or reservations@boisdale.co.uk.

Mike d'Abo, the lead vocalist of Manfred Mann from 1966 to 1969, will headline the Johnnie Walker Celebrity Guest Star Performances with a one-off concert at Boisdale of Belgravia on Wednesday, 24 September. As lead vocalist of Manfred Mann d'Abo is known as the voice of such popular hits as My Name is Jack, Ha Ha Said The Clown, Just Like A Woman and the number one hit, The Mighty Quinn.

A full list of who is playing when at Boisdale of Belgravia and Boisdale of Bishopsgate can be found on the Boisdale web site (wshop.boisdale.co.uk).