Ken Lelen

Ken Lelen
Ken Lelen sings great American ragtime, jazz & swing and performs with vintage acoustic guitars for an authentic, back-in-the day sound.

Monday, January 27, 2020

2020  Concert  Schedule
Date           Host / Venue      —      Location                     Concert Theme
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Mar   14    Westfield Memorial Library                  Speak Easy Jazz
                Westfield NJ  —  WestfieldLibrary
Apr      2     Arbors, Manchester CT                            Radio Ramblers
Apr     3     Sunapee Community Coffeehouse        Vintage Guitar Roadshow
                Sunapee NH  —  SunapeeCoffeehouse
Apr     4    Harvey-Mitchell Memorial Library        Hollywood Song Souvenirs
                Epping NH  -  HarveyMitchellLibrary
Apr   14    Carroll Lutheran VlgWestminster MD    Broadway Song Mementos
Apr   30    Wesley Enhanced LvgDoylestown PA    In The Mood
Jun    28    Oak CrestParkville MD                            Juke Joint Jive
July   18    Bridgewater Public Library                   Folk Song Boomers
                Bridgewater NJ  —  BridgewaterLibrary
Aug     8     Warren Township Library                     Radio Ramblers
                Warren NJ  —  WarrenTwpLibrary
Sep   16    Westfield Memorial Library                   Great American Cabaret
                Westfield NJ  —  WestfieldLibrary
Sep   17    Carroll Lutheran VlgWestminster MD    Hollywood Song Souvenirs
Sep   23    Heath Village, Hackettstown NJ              The Moon, the Stars & You
Nov     4    Greendale ClubWorcester MA               Crooners, Swingers & Idols
Nov     6    Agawam Cultural Center                      In The Mood
                Agawam MA  —  AgawamCulturalCtr
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© 2020 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Concert  Themes
27 programs available for 2020 — including 6 new themes
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© 2020 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - 1936
With the addition of six new themes, Vintage Music Concerts now offers a total of 27 shows for the 2020 season. Each theme traces a musical, romantic or historic topic with wry comments, amusing anecdotes & savory musings. Audiences say their favorite tunes and fondest memories are seasoned with wit and warmth, while concert hosts say these themes are easy to promote.

Every Vintage Music Concert offers hand-crafted jazz, ragtime, swing & pop tunes as well as vintage acoustic guitars for an authentic back-in-the-day sound. You can't get this sound out of a box with plastic knobs.


6 new Concert Themes — now available for 2020
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Vintage Guitar Roadshow
For an authentic, back-in-the-day sound, concert offers great American ragtime, jazz and swing tunes of the 1920s, 1930s & 1940s paired with vintage acoustic guitars from the same decades. Program explores popular music of early 20th Century and current market for guitars used by performers of that time.

MidCentury Melodies
Johnny Mercer - 1950s
A concert of great tunes from the 20th Century's juicy middle — before musical tastes were assaulted by bubble gum, disco, bossa nova and stadium singers. We explore the hit tunes of Tony Bennett, Vaughn Monroe, Jo Stafford, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mercer, Dave Barbour, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Dinah Shore, Patti Page, Bob Wills, Edith Piaf, Barbara Cook and others.

Crooners, Swingers & Idols
Concert of romantic ballads and pop songs foisted on American ears by heart-throb crooners, teen-aged idols and Rat Pack swingers during the Eisenhower Era. Their songs were hits for the post-war sock-hop generation, a time when people dated, dined and danced to their favorite tunes as they aired on radios, juke boxes or at the movies. You’ll be glad to hear them again.

Huddie Ledbetter - 1940s
Great American Songsters
Stories and hit songs of the composers, performers and musical scamps of the early 20th Century, from Carson Robison, Bessie Smith, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmie Davis and Leadbelly to Goebel Reeves, Big Bill Broonzy, Bob Wills and the Carter Family. American originals all, they worked out of the humid limelight of Tin Pan Alley, yet spawned the musical genres we know today as the blues, bluegrass, cowboy, R & B, ragtime, country, country 'n western, western swing and folk. Songsters did all this even as music recorded on discs, radio, Hollywood, Broadway, juke boxes, big bands, jazz combos and juke joints spread across America's cultural landscape.

The Moon, The Stars and You
Concert will summon wine-dark skies, cheerful stars and the pale moon on high for romantic insight and inspiration with classic love songs, including: Blue Moon, Fly Me To The Moon, It’s Only A Paper Moon, Moonglow, As Time Goes By, Moon River, How High The Moon, Moonlight Bay, Stars Fell On Alabama, Beyond The Sea, Blue Skies, Moonlight in Vermont, Get Out and Get Under The Moon, Moonlight Serenade, Old Cape Cod, Polka Dots and Moonbeams and, of course, everyone's favorite, Stardust. Fond memories will rise on the horizon.

Singing Cowboy Gene Autry - 1930s
Lunchbox Cowboys
Popularized on the radio, Saturday afternoon flicks, early black-and-white television, with merchandise found in mail-order catalogs and on the shelves of five-and-dime stores, singing cowboys were a big deal with small-fry buckaroos (boys and girls) between the late 1920s and early 1960s. Though a few Tin Pan Alley cats prowled their ranks, the list of luminous lunchbox cowboys included Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Rogers, Patsy Montana, Dale Evans, Al Dexter, Gene Autry, Carson Robison, Burl Ives, Bradley Kinkaid, Jimmy Dickens and others. You'll be surprised how many sagebrush songsters you recognize and how many of their great tunes you remember.


21 popular Concert Themes — also available for 2020
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Big Band Idols
Concert of songs immortalized by vocalists, musicians and band leaders who fronted Big Bands, jazz combos and society orchestras during the Swing Era.

Irving Berlin's memorable 1920 masterpiece
Ragtime Rascals
Concert offers hot sweet jazz renditions with the memorable tunes, clever lyrics and rapid rhythms loved by flappers, doughboys and bootleggers and spread by radio, talkies, 78s and tin lizzies.

When Love Was Nifty
In the decade before Elvis and his rowdy friends arrived, American pop music shifted its focus to appeal to both adult interests and youthful ideas of romance.

She Did It Her Way
Concert celebrates lives, romances, careers and hits of female vocalists and recording artists such as Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Patti Page, Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, Judy Garland, Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Helen Forrest and others.

He Did It His Way
Concert celebrates lives, romances, careers and hits of male vocalists and band leaders such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Gene Autry, Johnny Mercer, Artie Shaw and others.

Great American Cabaret
Back in the day couples dated, dined and danced at cabarets, supper clubs, hotels, restaurants and night clubs, so our concert offers the standards, ballads and jazz hits of saloon singers, ballroom bands and jazz combos.

Radio Ramblers
Americans once used console, tabletop or portable devices to hear music, news, drama, comedy, games, sports, shopping and gossip of the day, so our concert salutes the shows, songs, singers and emcees of radio's heyday.

Juke Joint Jive
Memorable toe-tappin' hits favored by lindy hoppers, stage door johnnies, zoo suiters, swingshift maisies, jitter buggers, drugstore cowboys & bobby soxers.

Speak Easy Jazz
Concert of record, jukebox and radio hits by the artists who were progenitors of American jazz: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Isham Jones, Paul Whiteman, Mildred Bailey, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Richard Whiting et al.

Composer Jimmy McHugh and
lyricist Dorothy Fields - 1933
Sunny Side Of The Street
Concert of mirthful songs meant to soften the Great Depression's bite, offer pithy romantic advice and poke fun at society’s upper crust.

Legendary Love Songs
Concert offers fountain of amorous lyrics & memorable tunes to evoke old flames, moonlit nights, romantic affairs, heartthrobs and heartaches.

Torch Song Embers
Concert plays bittersweet, wistful and romantic songs for folks who idolize the One Who Got Away, can't seem to forget a misbegotten lover or still romanticize a long-ago tryst.

Kingston Trio Redux
The Kingston Trio changed the course of pop music for 10 years from the late 1950s to late 1960s. They became America's most envied, imitated and successful pop group as they gathered a repertoire from numerous sources — urban and rural folk, calypso, folk rock, Broadway show tunes and Americana — and spun their arrangements into commercial success on college campuses, in coffee houses and with hit records.

Broadway Mementos
Tunes Great White Way producers used to advance story lines, tout ingénues and draw income from sheet music, records, juke box, movies and radio airplay.

Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike) and admirer
Hollywood Souvenirs
Song selection gave movie makers ways to turn celluloid dramas & zany comedies into hits. You’ll be surprised how many tunes you remember.

Singer - Songwriters
Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood lost their grip on pop music in the 1960s when talented upstarts such as Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot and others began to write, record and sell their own hit tunes. Called folksingers at the time, these youngsters' used record sales to gain both popular attention and cultural identity.

Composer George Gershwin and lyricist Ira Gershwin in 1920s
Tin Pan Alley Cats
Songs and stories behind the great American hit songs of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Jule Styne, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Black, Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser, Harry Warren, Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart and other well-known composers.

Bye Bye Blues
Concert features the jazz and swing hits popular in the era between the world wars. Young people claimed these tunes as their own because the songs were danceable and had clever lyrics and memorable melodies. What's more, they were performed by vocalists and big bands who gained popularity with simultaneous appearances in recordings, radios, jukeboxes and movies.

In The Mood
Concert offers a bouquet of romantic tunes from the war-torn 1940s that gave pop music emotional depth and evoked nostalgic moods to resonate with folks on the Home Front & Front Lines. Back in the day escapism was a priority for listeners and this Vintage Music Concert will help you get away from it all.


Dustbowl balladeer Woody Guthrie in 1943

Prairie Poets 
With songs and stories, this concert will explore the late 20th Century cultural impact of such American and Canadian artist-performers as Woody Guthrie of Okema OK, Goebel Reeves of Sherman TX, Bob Dylan of Duluth MN, Gordon Lightfoot of Toronto ON, Buffy Sainte-Marie of Qu'Appelle Valley SK, and Ian Tyson of Victoria BC.

Folk Song Boomers
Concert of pop, topical, folk, traditional and protest songs that became popular radio hits and sing-along anthems for America's post-war generation that came of age in the 1950s and 1960s.

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© 2020 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved