The John Denman Memorial Concert
1017 N Olive Rd
Tucson, AZ 85721-0004
Admission - $9, 7, 5
Fine Arts Box Office
"The John Denman Memorial Concert"
with Guest Artist Dave Bennett, clarinet,
and The Jeff Haskell Trio with Jack Wood, bass; Fred Hayes, drums
(This concert is co-sponsored by Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care)
John Denman, (1933-2001) was born in London, England, into a musical family.
Denman attended the Royal Military School of Music, serving as solo clarinet in
the Band of the Life Guards, part of the Royal Escort. After leaving the
service, he embarked upon a distinguished musical career, playing principal
clarinet for most of London's major orchestras, performing as concerto soloist
and recitalist and broadcasting for the BBC.
Denman emigrated to the United States in 1976 to join the faculty of the
University of Arizona School of Music, where he taught until 1984. A true
crossover player, he enjoyed an uncanny ability to literally cross over between
jazz and classical repertoire from one moment to the next. He performed as
principal clarinet with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra until 1999.
Michigan clarinetist Dave Bennett, born May 1984, has established himself during
the last five years as America's premier interpreter playing in a style and
sound inspired by his hero Benny Goodman.
Dave has led his sextet for stage show concerts in thirty states and has
performed with more than twenty orchestras in the USA and Canada for his
Goodman Tribute Symphony Pops, including Detroit, Toronto, Nashville,
Vancouver, Omaha, Orlando, Grand Rapids, Sarasota and Columbus.
Dave Bennett is a self-taught prodigy who began at age ten on a clarinet given
to him by his grandfather. Although now still only in his mid-20s Dave's
playing career goes back to age 14, when he began frequent tours on the
"traditional jazz" circuit with a Saginaw-based Dixieland band. At age 12,
trumpet legend Doc Cheatham invited him to the bandstand of the famous Sweet
Basil jazz club in NYC. At age 17 Dave won a competition over 600 entrants to
guest solo with The Count Basie Orchestra. And Pete Fountain, upon hearing a
tape of Dave, made an unprompted call to the teenager encouraging him: "you are
on the right track."
Dave has recorded with three of Goodman's famous band members: guitarist Bucky
Pizzarelli, pianist Dick Hyman and vibraphonist Peter Appleyard. All three
endorse Dave as "the closest ever to Benny Goodman." In 2008 Dave made his
European debut with these players at the Bern Jazz Festival. Also in 2008, Dave
was the featured guest with Jim Cullum's Jazz Band heard on two broadcasts on
the NPR Jazz at Riverwalk series.
2010 introduces a new aspect to Dave's musical conception and development. In
June Arbors Records released Dave's Clarinet is King – Songs of Great
Clarinetists. On this CD Dave Bennett performs tunes made famous by such
players as Artie Shaw, Pete Fountain, Barney Bigard, Acker Bilk plus more
Goodman. Bennett gives fresh and creative treatments to such classics as
Nightmare, Stranger on the Shore, Where or When and Begin the Beguine. The
recording is his first quartet feature and includes Dave's regular touring
members. They have performed at jazz festivals in San Diego, Elkhart, Detroit
and at a number of leading jazz nightclubs. The music heard is part of Dave's
new stage and symphony pops program.
In July 2010 Dave Bennett made his eighth concert appearance with The Detroit
Symphony in five years. He was chosen to open the DSO's new collaborative
series with The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and performed to a capacity crowd
at the outdoor setting of the estate.
Dave Bennett's musical abilities aren't limited to jazz and swing. He is
passionate about rockabilly, pop, country, and American "Roots" music, and even
composes his own material. During recent shows, he sometimes performs the music
of Jerry Lee Lewis and plays a mean boogie woogie piano. Dave also plays
"rockin" electric guitar along the lines of his hero Brian Setzer…and he sings
a few tunes in shows, which includes his special treatment (and unique chord
sequence) on St. James Infirmary.
All in all, Dave Bennett is one of the most remarkable and unique talents on
today's music scene and he is clearly one of the greatest clarinetists of our