THE sound of the Swing era of the mid 1930s stomps into Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC) on Saturday, June 16, at 7.30pm, when John Petters’ Quartet performs Swing - a tribute to Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa.

Know as the King of Swing, Goodman, born in Chicago in 1909 into an impoverished Jewish immigrant family, became an icon of 20th century music. Based on the early New Orleans jazz pioneers, Goodman developed a technical facility on the clarinet, which has rarely been equalled but crucially, he had an amazing feel for the music.

In 1935, he formed The Big Band, which led to international stardom and the first performance by a jazz act at the famous New York Carnegie Hall.

Recruiting Gene Krupa was a master stroke for Goodman. Also born in 1909, but to Polish Catholic immigrants, young Gene was destined for the priesthood, but discovered jazz early on.

Like Benny, he based his style on early New Orleans pioneers, drummers such as Baby Dodds and Zutty Singleton. Gene also had a prodigious technique. He popularised the drum solo with Goodman on the classic recording, Sing Sing Sing.

Exceptional though The Big Band was, it was the “band within a band”, the Benny Goodman Trio and Quartet, which perhaps produced the most exciting and interesting music.

For this concert, virtuoso clarinettist Richard Exall, a former Chris Barber sideman returns, accompanied by the amazing Colin Bray at the piano. Bassist Keith Donald completes the line-up.

Tickets for the event are available online at or phone the box office on 01439 771700.