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Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra Set to Play Stan Kenton's Works

By Janet Upadhye | March 24, 2014 2:47pm
 The Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra will play the music of Stan Kenton at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene.
Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra
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FORT GREENE — These jazz artists have shared the stage with greats like Jimmy Smith, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.

And now the Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra is set to play the music of the famed American jazz musician Stan Kenton at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church this coming Sunday.

"These are my favorite New York City players playing the music of a composer I love," said Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra founder Paul Francis. "I fell in love with Kenton's music about 15 years ago and told myself that one day when I had my own band I would play his music."

The 19-member band plans to play favorites from Kenton, who rose to fame in the '30s, like "Peanut Vendor," "Intermission Riff," "Stompin' at The Savoy" and "Artistry in Rhythm" during the more than two-hour concert with singer Kelly Delaveris.

"Stan Kenton's music was forward-thinking," Francis said. "It has the components of jazz, it swings, it has classical elements and it has a nice groove.

This is the third show for the Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra, whose last performance, a Duke Ellington tribute in December, was embraced by the audience, Francis said.

"People kept telling us we needed to play more concerts," he explained.

So the New York City-based drummer, who has played with Tony Bennett and actor/musician Jim Belushi, decided to oblige.

He recruited sought-after jazz musicians including pianist Alex Smith, who partners with Lady Gaga’s go-to jazz musician Brian Newman in clubs throughout the city, trumpet player Seneca Black and saxophonist Mark Lopeman, who played in the Broadway shows "Annie" and "On Your Toes."

The show will cover music spanning Kenton's career, from the 1930s until the '70s.

The performance starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the church, located at 85 South Oxford St.Tickets cost $18 in advance and $25 at the door.