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Bickford, Midiri Brothers to Celebrate Historic Jazz Concert

Jan. 15 event to celebrate 75th anniversary of Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall performance.

The Community Theatre is not the only one to be celebrating its diamond anniversary.

Across town, at Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre in Morris Township, another celebration of 75 years is set for January.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the theater will celebrate the 75th anniversary of "King of Swing" Benny Goodman's legendary Carnegie Hall concert—which some have said helped legitmize Jazz music—with a showcase of both his work and the work of other legends by the Midiri Brothers Band, at 8 p.m.

"lt was a snowy Sunday evening in January 1938 when Benny Goodman had the audacity to present a concert of Jazz and Swing music at Carnegie Hall," according to a Bickford Theatre press release. "This was youthful dance music, after all, not usually presented in a concert setting, and certainly not before a tuxedo-clad crowd of middle aged patrons."

But the concert sold out—"legend has lt that Goodman had to buy tickets for his own family from sidewalk scalpers," according to the release— and the evening legitimized the music that was to become the anthem for generations of young people.

The Bickford Jazz Showcase has booked the Midiri Brothers Orchestra, led by twin musicians Paul and Joe, to "relive an important part of jazz history, as they celebrate the 75th anniversary of that landmark concert." The 90-minute concert will be held without an intermission.

Seats are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

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