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Woody Herman Celebration
WOODY HERMAN spent 50 years on the cutting edge of jazz’s musical frontier as a bandleader, saxophonist, clarinetist, and vocalist. The world-famous resident orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA (LCJO) WITH WYNTON MARSALIS, will perform his music in the concert series “The Thundering Herd – Evocations of Woody Herman” on Thursday and Saturday, April 11 and 13, 2002, at 8pm in Alice Tully Hall. The LCJO – conducted by Woody Herman authority LOREN SCHOENBERG – will perform new and existing arrangements of compositions from Herman’s extensive songbook, including “Woodchopper’s Ball,” “Four Brothers,” “Early Autumn,” “Opus de Funk” and others. The LCJO will be joined by Herd alumni saxophonist JOE LOVANO and trumpeter PETE CANDOLI, replacing his brother Conte Candoli, who passed away in December 2001.

In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce a special Jazz Talk program on April 9, 2002 at 7pm in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, in which Pete Candoli and fellow Herd alumnus BOB BELDEN will discuss tales and memories of working with the inspiring bandleader.

Tickets for the concert at $50, and for the Jazz Talk at $12, are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or via For group sales, please call (212) 258-9817. This concert is sponsored by Cadillac, proud sponsor of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Woody Herman was born on May 16, 1913 in Milwaukee, WI. He picked up the alto saxophone at age 11 and began working as a professional musician at age 16. He gained early experience playing with the big bands of Tom Gerun, Harry Sosnik, and Gus Arnheim, and then in 1934 he joined the Isham Jones Orchestra. When the veteran bandleader decided to break up his orchestra in 1936, Herman formed one of his own out of the remaining nucleus. Herman’s theme “At the Woodchopper’s Ball” became his first hit (1939). By 1943, his band, Herman’s Herd (later renamed the First Herd), had built an international reputation for its originality and musicianship, underpinned by the classic arrangements of Ralph Burns and Neal Hefti. After Herman disbanded his ensemble, he formed the Second Herd by mid-1947. Possibly the best known of his bands, the Second Herd was acclaimed for its “Four Brothers” – the original saxophone section comprised of three tenors and a baritone saxophone. Among the musicians who played in this section were Serge Chaloff, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, and Gene Ammons. Despite many popular numbers, the band collapsed in 1949. The Third Herd (1950-56) was similar to its predecessor, but played tempos suitable for dancing. After some short-lived small groups, Herman’s New Thundering Herd was a hit at the 1959 Monterey Jazz Festival. Herman continued to lead his big band throughout the 1960s, during which its sound became more rock-oriented as he utilized his young sidemen’s arrangements, often of current pop tunes. One of only four surviving bandleaders from the swing era still touring in the 1970s, he continually welcomed new talent into his band. In the 70s, he also recorded with Chick Corea, had a reunion with Flip Phillips, and celebrated his 40th anniversary as a leader with a 1976 Carnegie Hall concert. By the late 1970s, he had returned to a straight-ahead jazz sound. Late in his life, he was hounded by the IRS because of incompetent management, so instead of retiring, he was forced to continue touring and working constantly. As his health failed, he delegated most of his bandleading duties to Frank Tiberi, before his death in 1987. Tiberi still keeps his flame alive by leading the Woody Herman Orchestra on a part-time basis.

Sun Mar 31 2002 (7:30:30 PM)