Past Event

Desert Island Discs with Ken Peplowski

Ken  Peplowski sounds the way (Benny) Goodman might if he had kept evolving, kept on listening to new music, kept refining his sound, polishing his craft, and expanding his musical purview into the 21st century,” the eminent music writer Will Friedwald declared in the Wall Street Journal in 2012. It’s an accurate assessment of the 59-year-old virtuoso, who has made it his business during his 40 years as a professional jazz musician to address any context — the Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman orchestras, Dixieland, swing and bebop combos, avant-garde jazz and 20th century classical music — at the highest level of craft and artistry, singing his own song, as Lester Young used to say, not only on clarinet, but also tenor saxophone and alto saxophone. The Cleveland native has documented all of these stylistic food groups, historical and contemporary, on 50+ recordings as a leader, most recently Enrapture (Capri). “It’s not that big a stretch between Jimmie Noone and someone like Marty Ehrlich,” Peplowski commented in the liner notes for an earlier album, Grenadilla. “It’s important to remind the audience it’s all a continuous line of music.

In the fall of 2015, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem debuted its version of Desert Island Discs. It’s modeled on an iconic BBC radio show, extant since 1942, which invites eminences from various walks of life to choose—and discuss—the eight records they would bring for a stay on the apocryphal desert island. For the Jazz Museum’s expanded version curated and hosted by esteemed journalist Ted Panken, the presenters are jazz musicians, who will present a cohort of music, of any genre, that was essential in the formation and evolution of their musical personality