“I FEEL VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE a little talent in music,” Dr. Ted Borodofsky voices, with regard to the skill he possesses once he places his deft fingers around that long, black jazzy reed instrument we call the clarinet.
The people of Paducah feel pretty fortunate as well.
Ted Borodofsky has long led a band of followers in search of stronger, better, more ample arts programs and offerings in his second home here in Paducah.
Ted hails from a small town in the Mississippi Delta, where he first picked up the woodwind from which now emanates the constant string of swing and Dixie tunes that Ted loves so much.
“I started playing clarinet in 5th grade in my school band and I just stuck with it,” he recalls. “Once I heard the great jazz clarinet player Pete Fountain, I was hooked. I was lucky to have an ear for the music and patterned my playing to Pete’s. I listened for hours to his music. And over the years, I sat in with many groups no matter where I was living.”
Now Ted leads his own group of talented, toe-tapping musicians from all around the region. “Once here in Paducah, I continued to play and sit in with various musicians until I formed my own group, Southern Jazz. Working with my own group has allowed me to play exactly the music that I wanted to present—swing with a little Dixieland. I’ve tried to find the best musicians in our area and in the Nashville area to work with. It’s really great to play with so many fine professional musicians. I’ve learned a lot from all of them.”
Ted admits that he travels to another place when he’s crafting music from his off-hours instrument. During his day job, he’s utilizing the instruments of a respected ophthalmologist in his office and in the operating room. “I’m in another world when I’m playing a tune like ‘Struttin’ With Some Barbecue’ made famous by Louis Armstrong or trading solos with the other guys in the band. When the band is really swinging and tight, the sound can be just great, and when those listening get caught up in the spirit of the music, that makes it even better!”
Ted has made Paducah’s part of the world a little better with his passion for the arts and his determination to see projects like the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center come to fruition. “Having an active arts community, whether it’s the visual arts or the performing arts, certainly increases the quality of life for those living in the community,” he fervently believes. “The world of imagination, creativity, and diversity that is brought to a community by a variety of active arts programming generates excitement and pride throughout the community, enhances educational opportunities for all ages, and provides part of the foundation for economic development. The recent surge in Paducah’s downtown development is a synergy of the increased cultural milieu the people in our community have put forth the effort to create.”