All Things Kenton Blog

A winter afternoon in Georgia

I first saw the Stan Kenton band in 1972 in Columbia, South Carolina. One year later my high school band in Georgia hired the Kenton band for an afternoon workshop and evening concert.

It was to be a fund raiser. I do not recall whether we met our financial goals. That was the last thing on my mind.

I was sixteen years old, and my life had already become consumed with All Things Kenton.

And here they were, and I was, along with a lot of other students and parents, their host.

In the afternoon their workshop consisted of a short concert. This was followed with lecture demonstrations, from Kenton, Richard Torres, Willie Maiden, and others.

Then the students broke into sessions with the Kenton sidemen. We bass players felt excited by the prospect of time with the fabulous John Worster. But I feel certain that the drummers felt that way about their session with Peter Erskine, as did the rest of the attendees.

That evening we returned for the formal concert. It was Willie Maiden’s birthday, and they had some fun with that. Listen to that fun here

Here is an audio recording of that afternoon concert. The program is familiar. Girl Talk, Samba Siete, Tonight, Bogota, MacArthur Park, and Malaga.

Soloists include John Park, Richard Torres, Roy Reynolds, Bob Winiker, Harvey Coonin, Ramon Lopez, and others.

The picture is from the concert itself. Notice the upright piano. Rich’s Department Store, from whom we had rented a grand piano, was late in their delivery. The grand piano made it there by the evening show, and we were not charged for the rental.

It was a magical day for me.

I have some other recordings from that day, both from the clinic and the evening concert. Stay tuned for those releases.