CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY POPS: TRIBUTE TO BENNY GOODMAN
Swing-era jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman is worth celebrating. And, sure, bold statements like this are bandied around for all the legends; yet Goodman’s uncompromising anti-racist stance stands out, from gigs at the famously integrated Savoy Ballroom to his later refusal to play venues or even regions that insisted on white-only bands. These were bold and important moves for such a successful pop star of that era. And while Charlotte may not have necessarily been on Goodman’s tour itinerary in the late 1930s — due to his integrated band at the time — this weekend sees a tribute by modern clarinetist Dave Bennett. There’s naturally a question of sterility, and whether swing jazz loses some of its sweaty physicality in an upscale venue like Knight Theater. But you weren’t expecting to dance, were you?