“Allan Stewart Konigsberg’s dreams of artistic glory didn’t pan out the way he expected. As a teenager in 1950s Brooklyn, he was bitten by the music bug, lingering beside the record player in his bedroom as it played vibrant New Orleans jazz. It became, he said, “an obsession.” Determined to be a professional musician, he persuaded the clarinet accompanist for bandstand great Fats Waller to teach him private lessons for $2 an hour.
Konigsberg never reached Tin Pan Alley.
Changing his name to Woody Allen, he passed his time by writing, directing and starring in amusing movies roughly once a year for half a century. But he never lost his lifelong hope to entertain audiences through live music. Which is why he’s performing next month with the six-man New Orleans Jazz Band on a cross-country swing. They will launch the multistate tour at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Allen and his ensemble have never played Minnesota before, much less visited it. Talking by phone from New York, Allen explained why, after decades of international and stateside jazz performances, he decided to become a first-time visitor.“