Ken Peplowski was born May 23, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio. He began playing clarinet and saxophone in Polish polka bands as a child and played his first professional gig while still in elementary school. With his trumpeter brother they played local radio and television shows, dances and weddings all through high school. By his teens Ken was experimenting with jazz, playing in the school bands, jamming with the local jazz musicians and teaching at the local music store.
After a year of college, he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. It was during this time that he met Sonny Stitt who became a great inspiration. In 1980 Peplowski moved to New York City and played from Dixieland to avant-garde jazz. He would work for Benny Goodman, recorded some 20 albums for Concord Records, toured around the world, recorded film soundtracks and most recently signed with Nagel-Heyer Records.
His collaborations include Mel Tormé, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, Madonna, George Shearing, Hank Jones, Rosemary Clooney, Tom Harrell, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Steve Allen and Woody Allen among others. Jazz clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Peplowski continues to perform, tour, record, conduct student workshops, has been named the jazz advisor for the Oregon Festival of American Music and music director at the Jazz Party at the Shedd.