Minn. Jazz Orchestra Kicks Off Kenton Celebration

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Big-band jazz giant Stan Kenton will be celebrated with a concert Saturday at Hopkins High School.

The 100th anniversary of Kenton’s birth is coming up next year. To kick off the celebration, the JazzMN Orchestra will perform part of a rare, unpublished Kenton and Johnny Richards arrangement of “West Side Story.”

Jazz singer Stephanie Nakasian will accompany the band, which is expanding its 10-piece brass section for the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Kenton was known for the loudness of his band’s performances. He also incorporated Afro-Cuban rhythms into his arrangements.

Regular Kenton tour stops included St. Paul’s Prom Ballroom, the University of Minnesota and the Leamington Hotel in Minneapolis.

Kenton was born in 1911. He died in 1979.

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