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Ring them' bells Peplowski 1995
Ken Peplowski at the Bern Jazz Festival in 1995
Ken Peplowski has been compared to Goodman--favorably. The noted New York Times music critic John S. Wilson called him "a clarinetist with a Goodman tone and a Buddy DeFranco style." It is not surprising, because Peplowski was a member of Goodman's last working orchestra. But truly Peplowski plays the music that he likes, his own way. He does not try to play like Goodman or anyone else.
Peplowski was born May 23, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, and began his professional career at age nine, making local jazz radio and television appearances. He played orchestral and jazz arrangements in the Cleveland area before joining the Tommy Dorsey Band under the direction of Buddy Morrow in 1979. He met saxophonist Sonny Stitt while on the road and soon became one of his pupils.
In 1980, Ken moved to New York and was soon playing in such musical settings as traditional Dixieland bands, avant-garde jazz ensembles, and symphony orchestras. He was also involved in making movie sound tracks and commercial recordings.
Ken has recorded and performed with musicians as diverse as Mel Torme, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Warren Vache Jr., Hank Jones, Dan Barrett, Leon Redbone, Jimmy McPartland, Max Kaminsky, Dick Hyman, Ruby Braff, Scott Hamilton, Howard Alden, Rosemary Clooney, and Steve Allen .
He has been a featured performer with the American Jazz Orchestra and has performed regularly in New York's major clubs such as the Blue Note, Fat Tuesday's, Eddie Condon's and Jimmy Walker's. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Peplowski's own group performs on a regular basis at J's on 97th and Broadway in New York City. Ken has made numerous extensive tours of Europe, Brazil, England, Mexico, and Japan. In the fall of 1993, he led the Great American Jazz Orchestra at the Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festival, appearing in several cities in Japan.