Ken Peplowski

KEN PEPLOWSKI, a clarinetist with a rich background in diverse jazz styles, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and began experimenting with jazz in high school “stage” bands and jamming with local jazz musicians. After a year of college, he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. In 1980, Ken moved to NYC and was soon playing in all types of settings, from traditional to avant-garde jazz. In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone. Within a few years he had signed with Concord Records and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader, including The Natural Touch and The Other Portrait, and also two other albums on the Nagel Heyer label, Lost in the Stars and Easy to Remember. Ken collaborated with numerous musicians including Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, Madonna, Rosemary Clooney, Houston Person, Steve Allen, and Marianne Faithfull, to name a few. Peplowski’s newest CD, Sunrise, is a big band recording of new arrangements and reworking of classics. He teams with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figuereido on his upcoming CD, Amizade. Ken returns to the festival after previously performing five times, the last time in 2008.

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