Michigan clarinetist DAVE BENNETT, is an authentic musical prodigy who brings to life the classic sound and music of BENNY GOODMAN (1909-1986) with incredible technique, style, beauty of tone and naturalness. Dave resides in Waterford, Michigan, (born May 18, 1984 in Pontiac, MI) and began his playing at age 10 on a clarinet given to him by his grandparents. He then taught himself how to play Goodman songs by ear, listening to a tape given to him by his grandfather. Dave had his first “feature appearance” playing Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen at his 5th Grade band concert. At age 12 Dave was invited to the bandstand of the famous Sweet Basil jazz club in New York to sit in with the trumpet great Doc Cheatham. As an early teen, a tape of Dave’s playing sent to another hero, Pete Fountain, resulted in an unprompted telephone call to Dave by Fountain, encouraging this remarkable young talent that he was “on the right track.” Starting at age 14 (and continuing still) Dave has traveled with The New Reformation Band and Wally’s Warehouse Waifs on the “trad jazz” festival circuit. At 17 Bennett was selected as one of two high school students from a field of 600, to have the opportunity to perform as a special guest soloist with The Count Basie Orchestra. Bennett has made a great impression on several of Benny Goodman’s famous band members: vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and pianist Dick Hyman. They all strongly endorse Dave Bennett as “the closest ever” to Goodman’ sound and style. He has performed with them in the US, Canada and Europe, and they have recorded as “Special Guests” on Dave’s two recent CDs.
Since 2005 Dave Bennett has been touring for symphony “pops” shows with his Benny Goodman tribute. Performances contracted include the orchestras of San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Tacoma, Columbus, Nashville, Omaha, Rochester, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Orlando, Windsor and Kingston ON. After his success with The Detroit Symphony at Meadowbrook in 2006, the DSO brought Dave’s Goodman tribute for five shows at Orchestra Hall in May 2008. Bennett played to 10,000 fans over four days. Dave was featured on two NPR network radio programs with The Jim Cullum Jazz Band on Jazz at Riverwalk broadcast in Dec. 2007. In April 2008 Dave made his European debut (at The Bern International Jazz Festival , Switzerland), chosen to play in a sextet with The Good Men: headlining with the aforementioned Pizzarelli and Appleyard. Inspiring Dave for the occasional vocal it should be noted that he is also a big fan of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and other rock and country greats. Dave is a very good “rockabilly” guitarist. Dave also plays strong boogie-woogie piano in a style inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis. Dave has an added fan base when he performs for the young “swing dance” crowds at competitions around the country.