Dave Bennett has created written and "head" arrangements of many of Benny Goodman's popular "hits" and "swing jazz" classics: Moonglow, I've Got Rhythm, Body and Soul, Slipped Disc, Sing Sing Sing, Airmail Special, Let's Dance, Don't Be That Way, Breakfast Feud, Poor Butterfly, Memories of You, Stompin at the Savoy and many others. The septet has worked out harmonized riffs and ensemble parts, famous from the original Goodman recordings of the 1930's and '40's. For some tunes the combo pairs down to a trio or quartet to accurately bring to life the sound of The Benny Goodman Quartet...etc.
Bennett's mature stage presence, knowledge of the dates and details of Goodman recordings, and his penchant for wire-rim glasses, spats and double-breasted suits, transport listeners back to the time and mood of Benny Goodman's “swing era”. In his Goodman Tribute, Dave demonstrates an uncanny ability: "copping" many of Goodman's famous "riffs" and "lines" (very close to Benny's classic recordings) balanced by substantial amounts of "free blowing" that still evokes the Goodman sound and style. The music comes off powerfully fresh and vibrant...notacademic or slavishly "re-creative."
Michigan clarinetist DAVE BENNETT, is an authentic musical prodigy (totally self-taught) who brings to life the classic sound and music of BENNY GOODMAN (1909-1986) with incredible technique, style, beauty of tone and naturalness. Truly a “young phenom,” Dave resides in Waterford, Michigan, (born May 18, 1984 in Pontiac, MI) and began playing at age 10 on a clarinet given to him by his grandparents. He then taught himself how to play Goodman songs by ear, listening to a tape given to him by his grandfather.
PAUL KELLER (bass/symphony pops arranger) of Ann Arbor was Diana Krall’s bassist 1995 through 1997, performing around the world with her quartet and recording on her Grammy nominated CD tribute to Nat King Cole. Paul continues currently with periodic tours with Krall, recently (Sept. ’06) seen with her on the late night TV shows of David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Tavis Smiley. He has performed with such acclaimed artists as Joe Williams, Cab Calloway, Oliver Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Jay McShann, James Moody, Barry Harris, Doc Cheatham and many others, appearing at America’s major jazz festivals and jazz clubs. The Paul Keller Orchestra has performed weekly for over fifteen years in Ann Arbor, toured twice in Europe, and recorded five CDs. Paul also leads several small combos (composing and arranging original music), and is in great demand for touring to festivals. He is also producer/owner of the independent PKO Records label which is serving as an important “umbrella label”, releasing many of Southeast Michigan’s top jazz artists.
PETER SIERS (drums) of Ann Arbor has been a touring member of the prominent Russell Malone Trio recording the album “Black Butterfly” on Columbia Records and has performed with Mose Allison, Frank Morgan, Mulgrew Miller, Lee Morgan, and Franz Jackson among many others. Pete has played major jazz festivals including the JVC, Newport, Sunfest, Playboy Festival, The North Sea Jazz Fest in Holland, and the Istanbul Festival in Turkey. He performs frequently with Paul Keller and his drumming skills are wide ranging… able to play convincingly in modern or traditional styles, latin (leading his own Los Gatos quintet) and in big band or small combos.
HUGH LEAL (acoustic guitar) has been active in promoting, recording and playing jazz in Windsor and Detroit for thirty-five years. In the 1980’s and 90’s his Parkwood Records label documented some of the last of the surviving 1920s and 30s jazzmen, beginning with Doc Cheatham’s first feature album as a “singer/trumpeter” and named by The New York Times’ jazz critic John S. Wilson in his “top ten jazz albums of 1983”. To date Leal has produced thirty albums including features of such artists as Marcus Belgrave, Art Hodes, Franz Jackson, Sammy Price, Johnny O’Neal, and J.C. Heard. Leal is producer of Windsor’s Capitol Theatre J azz Series and before that ran his independent Windsor Jazz Series from 1977 to 2000. As a rhythm guitarist Leal has recorded and toured the last three years to thirty-five US states for shows with Dave Bennett or also as a member of Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong Octet.
CAROL McCARTNEY (vocalist) is based in Toronto, Ontario and has worked professionally in jazz and music theatre (where she acted in Toronto productions of Sophisticated Ladies and The Baker's Wife). In the past decade she has frequently been featured in the big band led by internationally acclaimed vibraphonist (and Benny Goodman Band alumnus) Peter Appleyard. In that band she worked with such jazz greats as Slam Stewart, Mel Lewis and Bucky Pizzarelli. Carol has been featured on CBC Radio's national network jazz program After Hours, was an opening act for comedian Bob Newhart, and in the past two years has performed the music of Benny Goodman with several Canadian symphony orchestras. Carol joined Dave Bennett’s “Goodman combo” in 2006 starting with a performance with The Detroit Symphony at Meadowbrook.
TAD WEED (piano) of Ypsilanti MI spent eleven years touring the world as pianist for Paul Anka. Tad’s discography includes over a dozen CD’s, and he has performed with some of the great names in jazz including Anita O'Day, Mundell Lowe, Carmen McCrae, Charles Lloyd and Woody Herman. He has played concerts, clubs, television and radio around the world including Brazil ,China, Holland, England, France, Germany and Finland. Some noteworthy appearances include The Concord Jazz Festival, The Boston Globe Jazz Festival at Symphony Hall, The Kool Jazz Festival and The Berlin Radio Festival. Tad is also in demand as an educator and has given clinics with Bill Watrous, Don Menza, George Shearing and Bud Shank. He is profiled in the final Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz co-authored by the dean of jazz critics, the late Leonard Feather.
Jim Cooper (vibraphone) was born in Chicago and has been playing jazz on the vibraphone for almost 40 years. Active as a performer, composer and teacher, Jim is currently celebrating the re-release of his 1992 Delmark recording, Nutville, which features legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. Jim was a Delmark Recording Artist in the early 90s which earned him national recognition, Jazz Times calling Cooper, “a warm vibist who goes for the heart.”