Molly Blank Past Performances
October 202–December 2024


The Breman Museum is pleased to announce the schedule for the Molly Blank Concert Series, marking its 10th anniversary in 2024. The Oran Etkin Quartet, featuring the celebrated jazz clarinetist, will launch the series on February 25. It will be followed by “Joyful Jazz,” featuring the Joe Alterman Trio with special guest Ken Peplowski, on April 21; and the revue “There’s No Business Like Show Business: A Tribute to Irving Berlin” on June 2.

In keeping with a Molly Blank Concert Series tradition, all three of the 2024 shows will be enhanced by pre-performance receptions (included in the ticket price) featuring professionally catered food that takes its cues from the music being presented. It’s a chance for Breman audiences to compare music and other performing arts notes with fellow guests before the evening’s show. Each reception starts at 4 p.m., with performances beginning at 5 p.m.

The 2024 Molly Blank Concert Series:

 Oran Etkin Quartet “Open Arms Project,” February 25

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Oran Etkin has been described as “ebullient” by the New York Times and was voted the No. 1 rising star clarinetist in DownBeat Magazine’s 2016 Critic’s Poll. His music can be heard on concert stages worldwide and on numerous recordings.

As his career matured, Etkin reimagined how touring could become part of the creative process with his “Gathering Light” project. Flipping the traditional record-then-tour model, he first toured in Indonesia, China, Japan, Israel and West Africa and then let the rhythms and melodies he encountered influence the music he created with his New York-based band of Nasheet Waits, Ben Allison, Lionel Loueke and Curtis Folks.

Since then, Etkin has deepened his concept of gathering light as he tours by taking time off between shows to live with traditional mbira masters in Zimbabwe or building collaborative projects with Roma (Gypsy) musicians in Czech Republic.

In 2020, Etkin launched the “Open Arms” project, a monthly release of singles and music videos recorded and filmed around the world with master musicians. An extension of that project, Etkin’s album “Open Arms” is a new release. Recorded as he toured in Brazil, Zimbabwe, the U.S., Canada, Czech Republic and Turkey, the album features on-location collaborations with musicians in each country as well as well as innovative use of sampling and electronics to improvisationally deconstruct these field recordings in an interconnected web spun by Etkin’s live band.

This fresh combination of deeply traditional sounds with forward-looking improvisations and electronics tells a spellbinding story of an opening and connected world, rooted in its cultures yet intent on forging a new path forward.

 Joyful Jazz Featuring the Joe Alterman Trio and Special Guest Ken Peplowski, April 21

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Everyone in the sold-out crowd that deeply dug the head-bobbing jazz and joyful vibe of the “Joe Alterman and Houston Person: Together Again” concert at The Breman last March is no doubt still smiling at the memory. Atlanta-based jazz pianist Alterman gives an encore of sorts for the 2024 Molly Blank Concert Series, this time joined by jazz clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski.

Peplowski is well prepared to go wherever Alterman and trio members bassist Kevin Smith and drummer Justin Chesarek want to go.

“When you grow up in Cleveland, Ohio, playing in a Polish polka band, you learn to think fast on your feet,” said Peplowski, who played his first professional engagement when he was still in elementary school. He dove into the deep end of jazz when, after a year of college, he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow.

Today, he’s comfortable making music in all sorts of settings and situations — small clubs, the Hollywood Bowl (where his concert sold-out), headlining in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals and clubs or home in New York City. He’s done everything from playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies to guest soloing on albums by Marianne Faithfull and Cuban vocalist Isaac Delgado and many more artists.

• “There’s No Business Like Show Business: A Tribute to Irving Berlin,” June 2

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Hear about the birth of American Popular Song via learning about its Founding Father: Irving Berlin. In this fun and informative mash-up of concert and cabaret produced by The Flying Carpet Theatre Company, some of Atlanta’s best musical theater artists will weave performances of some of Irving Berlin’s classic songs with tales from his captivating rags-to-riches life story.

Flying Carpet’s seasoned cast members will share unforgettable Berlin songs including “Blue Skies,” “God Bless America,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” as they trace his journey from a penniless Russian immigrant to one of the most celebrated songwriters in American history.

A 2001 Time magazine article estimated Berlin wrote 1,250 songs, 25 of them reaching No. 1 on the charts. He wrote 17 complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues including “Call Me Madam” and “Annie Get Your Gun.”

How appropriate, then, that Flying Carpet’s cast members claim, between them, credits in Hollywood films, on Broadway and across Atlanta’s professional stages.

We are closed for Rosh Hashanah today. You can purchase tickets for an upcoming day when we are open by clicking the button on the right.