The John Denman Memorial Concert: “Benny Lives!”
1017 N Olive Rd
Tucson, AZ 85721-0004
Fine Arts Box Office
The John Denman Memorial Concert, "Benny Lives!”
Tucson Swings, led by Frank Guldseth, clarinet
Dan Kruse, narrator
This concert is supported by Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care and Paula Fan.
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.
Mr. Guldseth spent school years in Seattle, studying clarinet with Ronald Phillips of the Seattle Symphony, graduating from the University of Washington in 1961. After a stint with the Seattle World's Fair Band, he was accepted for employment with CIA, married librarian Beth Lawton of Vancouver, Washington, and fled to Arlington, Virginia.
Early agency assignments were to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA Ops Center, and the LBJ White House Situation Room. Then followed 10 years of overseas postings, organizing swing ensembles all the way, including a performance for Emperor Haile Sellasie of Ethiopia. After retirement, Frank organized the New Columbia Swing Orchestra, playing for many high-level (everyone in DC is high-level) functions, including inaugural balls for both Clinton and Bush. On January 16, 1998, he and the band presented a 60th anniversary recreation of the famous Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert - at the Duke Ellington School for Performing Arts in WDC. They later played for the 50th anniversary of CIA. Retiring once more, Frank and Beth (a dedicated birder) moved here where he established the "Tucson Swings!" big band and the Tucson Woodwind "Pops" Quintet. Their program will include highlights of the Carnegie Hall presentation in this, the 75th anniversary year. Their vocalist is the well-regarded Miss Julie Anne.
Dan Kruse is a lecturer, ethnomusicologist, film-maker, writer, musician and the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered." His formal education includes a degree in media from the University of Missouri, and multi-disciplinary degrees from the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts combining ethnomusicology, anthropology and media arts. Dan’s master’s thesis in musicology is “ZOOM!”, a 33-minute documentary on a tiny Tucson independent record label of the late-1950s; the film was premiered in the fall of 2012. He has taught courses on the history of rock ‘n’ roll at the UA School of Music, and lectured before a variety of groups in the Tucson area, as well as at national musicological conferences. He and his wife, Gina, have two grown daughters and a new grandson, and are founding members of the Stone Curves Cohousing Community.