Hal Linden has been a musician a lot longer than he played a TV cop.
The Barney Miller sitcom star from the '70s will give Tri-City music lovers a sample of his multiple talents when he performs Oct. 10 to kick off Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities in the auditorium at Faith Assembly Church in Pasco.
"I've been lucky in my career," he told the Herald in a recent phone interview. "Most people know me for my role as police Capt. Barney Miller, and I enjoyed that series."
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It was the early '50s when Linden, 82, started his career as a big band musician. He joined the Army in 1952, and by the time he was discharged, he found the big band era was fading.
"I grew up with big band music, and when that changed and rock 'n' roll took over, it was a little traumatic for me," Linden said. "I'm a big band clarinet player, not a rock 'n' roll musician."
So he found work as an actor doing summer stock and off-Broadway shows, eventually leading to a Tony win for best actor in 1971 for his role in the musical The Rothschilds.
When he landed the lead role in Barney Miller, which aired on ABC from 1975-82, it earned him three Emmy awards.
After the sitcom ended, Linden stayed busy appearing in guest roles in various TV series as well as the NBC series Blacke's Magic in 1986, where he played a magician who solves mysteries. He also took the lead role in the 1992 comedy/drama series Jack's Place, where he played a retired jazz musician who ran a restaurant.
"I've been lucky that I have stayed busy," Linden said. These days, he chooses to stick with his music and tours the country with his night club act.
"I love acting, but music is really who I am," he said.
Linden was married to his wife for 55 years before her death in 2010. They had four children, none of whom followed their dad's footsteps into show business, he said.
"None of kids showed any interest in performing, and I'm kind of happy about that because this business can be tough," Linden said.
Linden's Tri-City concert will include a seven-piece band. Linden doesn't just sing; he plays clarinet and sax and spices up the show with his classic humor. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Admission is by a season ticket to the Community Concerts series, which are $45 for adults, $20 for students and $105 for a family of two adults and three kids.
Individual tickets to the show cost $25 for adults, $10 for students and $55 for families. For tickets, call 547-6243 or 946-1162.
Here's a look at the rest of the 2013-14 season:
Nov. 17 -- Trio Voronezh includes Russian musicians Sergei Teleshev, Valerie Petrukhin and Vladimir Volokhin. They play classical music as well as fiery gypsy dance music and Russian folksongs. Showtime is 3:30 p.m. at Faith Assembly Church, 1800 Road 72, Pasco.
Feb. 4 -- The Eugene Ballet performs an evening of dance that will take the audience to Persia to meet Scheherazade, the golden slave of a Sultan and then to Spain for the exotic dance experience to Ravel's Bolero. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at Faith Assembly Church.
April 4 -- Italian Saxophone Quartet includes Federico Mondelci on soprano sax, Marco Gerboni on alto sax, Mario Marzi on tenor sax and Massimo Mazzoni on baritone sax. They have performed in more than 1,000 concerts around the world since they formed in 1982. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at Faith Assembly Church.
May 15 -- The Piano Artistry of Mike Strickland includes a blend of pop, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, show tunes and some of Strickland's original compositions. Chiawana and Richland high school choirs are scheduled to make guest appearances. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. in the Richland High auditorium.
Other community concert organizations under way are: Lower Valley (www.lowervalleyconcerts.embarqspace.com), Central Basin (http://centralbasincommunityconcert.blogspot.com) and Wenatchee (www.wenatcheeconcerts.org). A season ticketholder to any community concert group can use their tickets to attend any concert series event.
Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com; Twitter: @dorioneal