Carnegie Hall, January 16, 1938... The Benny Goodman Orchestra swings its way into big band history! And Gene Krupa, pounding out SING SING SING on the tom toms, made his own bit of big band history that night which would change the course of drumming forever. By the late 1930's. Gene Krupa had emerged as a national phenomenon and his appearances on stage and film catapulted him to superstar status, prompting him to step out from
Goodman's shadow and set out on his own.
Atlantic City's Steel Pier, April 16, 1938... a crowd of 4,000 listeners gathered in the Marine Ballroom to hear the newly formed Gene Krupa Orchestra. Following this triumphant debut, the band recorded several instrumentals, including, "Wire Brush Stomp" and "Drum Boogie." In 1941, with the addition of singer Anita O'Day and legendary trumpeter Roy Eldridge, the Gene Krupa Orchestra really took off. Let Me Off Uptown, After You've Gone, Rockin' Chair, Thanks for the Boogie Ride, and Disc Jockey Jump are just a few of the hits that Gene and his band served up during this period.
Indianapolis, 1964... while appearing at the Embers in Indianapolis, Indiana, a young drummer, Michael Berkowitz, approached Krupa. Brought to the club to hear his idol, Berkowitz was mesmerized by the Krupa magic on the drumset. After the show, Krupa was kind enough to e spend a few minutes with the aspiring young drummer, and it was at that moment that Michael Berkowitz knew he was going to be a professional drummer. Berkowitz went on to live in Los Angeles and New York,
where he has performed with everyone from Nelson Riddle, Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel, Steve Lawrence, Michael Feinstein, Elton John, Michael Crawford and countless others to conducting Symphony Orchestras and drumming for the Academy Awards, the Tony Awards, Broadway shows, event at Carnegie Hall and London's Palladium Theatre, countless recordings, soundtracks and television specials.
Now leading the new Gene Krupa Orchestra, Berkowitz brings the Krupa magic back to life for a whole new generation. With an infectious energy that draws both listeners and dancers alike, the Gene Krupa Orchestra is a winner with audiences of all ages.