Don Behnke at the Buckingham Palace Gift Shop

Don Behnke, PhD

Thursday, May 21, 2020,

2:30-3:30 pm,

a live Zoom Webinar*

Note: the ASA Building is closed

during the pandemic.

Returning to the ASA with another of his provocative and entertaining programs on popular music, Don Behnke will explore the influence of Cole Porter on his peers and successors in the arena of the cabaret.  Don writes, “An erudite, witty bon vivant, Cole Porter penned both music and lyrics for musicals that have provided a source of music for cabaret singers around the globe.”  Don will sample a number of performers, from Edith Piaf to Bobby Short, with the Porter songs they made their own and which became their signatures.

Dr. Donald J. Behnke is Music Critic of the Green Valley News and Sun and a winner of the Arizona Press Club’s First Place Award for Arts Criticism. He has been a life-long student and patron of the arts, having begun piano and voice studies at age five. Superintendent Emeritus of the Southampton, NY Public Schools, Don has taught in the graduate schools of DePaul University in Chicago and Long Island University.  

He has been a radio DJ, a church organist, keyboardist, trumpeter and singer with dance bands in the Mid-West. He currently makes his home in Oro Valley, Arizona and lectures on luxury cruise ships several times each year on all kinds of music from The Three Tenors to the Beatles. On land he has entertained the staff and patients at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix as well as residents at Fairwinds in Oro Valley where he now lives.  

Don and his late wife Ruth were among the pioneers at Academy Village in 2000, purchasing one of the original models on Galileo near Old Spanish Trail.  Among other volunteer roles, Don filled in for a year as assistant to Marcia Neugebauer, taking on various ASA responsibilities including booking the weekly musical concerts. “Cool, Cole, and Cabaret” will be his first Webinar.

Edited by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer

*Directions to connect to the Webinar may be obtained from

May 21: Cool, Cole, and Cabaret