Adventures

A page dedicated to aspects of the Kenton musical biography that don’t fit neatly into any of the other sections.

The Singers

Although the Stan Kenton Orchestra was known for its creative writing and innovative soloists, for most of its history a vocalist shared the stage wish the instrumentalists. Some became stars and stayed for years. Others came and went so quickly as to elude any permanent record. Learn more…

The Instrumentalists

To make a full accounting of the many instrumentalists who worked as members of “The Stan Kenton Orchestra” is a daunting, if not impossible task. This page is a work in progress, with over 600 entries of the men and women who have earned that title. Learn more…

Rendezvous 1999

In 1999 musicians and fans came together to celebrate Kenton friend and admirer, Vic Lewis on his 80th birthday. Top flight jazz musicians from the UK and the US joined forces for some once in a life time music making. And Tony Pearson was there with his camcorder, documenting this bit of history. Learn more…

Rendezvous 2000

A four day Stan Kenton tribute was organized in the UK by Murray Patterson, John Healey and Arnie Chadwick. Fans, alumni, and scholars gathered in Egham to celebrate the life and work of the great band leader. Tony Pearson was there and recorded the events with his Sony Digital8 camcorder, and he graciously made the footage available for this website. Learn more…

Talk About A Lady

The band filmed several musical shorts in the Forties, but was only ever featured in one full-length movie, and that was strictly a Columbia B-picture programmer. Learn more…

Progressive Jazz

The Kenton era generally referred to as Progressive Jazz ran from September of 1947 until December of 1948. It was Kenton’s most innovative and financially lucrative band to date. Learn more…

A Festival of Modern American Jazz

Stan Kenton always thought on a grand scale. In late 1953 he assembled a package of some of the greats in modern jazz and barnstormed the nation. A year later, with a new list of soloists, he took to the road once more with A FESTIVAL OF MODERN AMERICAN JAZZ. Learn more…

The 1956 European Tour

For over two months in early 1956 the Kenton band hop-scotched across Europe, starting with a month in Great Britain followed by an almost equally long tour of Europe. Many days included two concerts, and the distances traveled between shows are dizzying. This was the Kenton band’s second tour of Europe, and his first in Great Britain. It came in between the recording of the albums “Contemporary Concepts” and “Cuban Fire.” Learn more…

Los Angeles Neophonic Orchestra

Performing only eleven concerts, the Los Angeles Neophonic Orchestra strove to be a permanent resident Jazz Orchestra, modeled after the symphony orchestra, and dedicated to performing world premieres of contemporary large ensemble composition. Musically the orchestra was hit and miss. Financially it was a disaster. Learn more…