Frank Perowsky

In the mid-’50s Frank Perowsky left Des Moines, IA, for New York City to study clarinet at Julliard and soak up the city’s enormous jazz scene at such clubs as Birdland, where he witnessed performances by such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, and more. Following his graduation, Perowsky began touring with the big bands of Lee Castle and Woody Herman and recording with Les and Larry Elgart, Tito Rodriguez, and Johnny Richards. After marrying in 1963 he settled down a bit and worked as a freelance musician in the New York area, playing Broadway shows, nightclubs, and concerts with some of the era’s best: Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, and more. In successive decades he continued playing music, recording albums with Bill Watrous’ big band in the ’70s and touring with such heavyweights as Roland Hanna and Liza Minnelli. In later years he founded his own label, Jazzkey, and watched his son, Ben, blossom into a successful jazz drummer. In 2002 the father-and-son duo collaborated on Bop on Pop, a trio album also featuring organist Sam Yahel that Perowsky released on Jazzkey.