Dave Bennett doesn’t fit the mold. For starters, you don’t find many jazz clarinet players who name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. You won’t find many musicians under 30 who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”). In fact, you may not find even one other clarinet virtuoso who occasionally breaks from his Swing Era repertoire to sing rock-a-billy hits while accompanying himself at the piano – where he plays a mean barrelhouse boogie-woogie. In the early days of jazz, the clarinet joined with trumpet and trombone to create the music’s signature sound, and it ruled the roost in the Swing Era, when jazz was America’s popular music and dance-party soundtrack. If anyone can return the clarinet to its heyday, it’s Dave Bennett, who fuses serious jazz improvisation with a host of modern pop influences. READ MORE

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