Benny Goodman Biography
(Bandleader and clarinetist)
Birthday: May 30, 1909 (Gemini)
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Benjamin David Goodman, better known as 'Benny Goodman', was a leading jazz clarinet player and an outstanding bandleader of the Swing Era (1935-1945). He was famously nicknamed as the 'King of Swing' by his band mates. Not only his music was unique and sensational, but it also reflected his relentless pursuit of perfection. His concert at Carnegie Hall, New York City, on January 16, 1938, is widely regarded as the most important concert in the history of America. Not only Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the country, but careers of many major jazz artists were launched by his bands. He is deeply remembered for giving America a new kind of music and also remembered for giving jazz music a completely new and different identity. In addition he was the first white bandleader to play such an important role in popularizing jazz music. He is also remembered for taking significant steps in racial integration. Early in the 1930s, when white and black musicians could not play together in concerts, he broke the tradition by hiring two black musicians to play with him. Goodman is also remembered by clarinet players all over the world for having solely commissioned many major works of 20th century chamber music for clarinet and small ensembles.