Benny Goodman

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Benny Goodman (Chicago, 30 May 1909 - New York, 13 June 1986) was a prominent and highly successful clarinet player of the swing era.

Inspired by the more rhythmic black bands of Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie (as opposed to the more refined approach of Duke Ellington), he helped bring the Big Band sound to a wider American, and ultimately worldwide, public.

Although famed in his day for his Big Band, his small-group recordings are still highly regarded - featuring the black pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphone player Lionel Hampton, with the white drummer Gene Krupa, it was the first commercially successful mixed-race jazz group.

The classical composers, Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith and Malcolm Arnold all wrote clarinet concertos dedicated to Benny Goodman.