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Kansas City 7 - Los Angeles, CA

  • The World Stage 4321 Degnan Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90008 United States (map)

Admission: $20.00. Tickets are available here.

The Count Basie Orchestra, founded over 80 years ago, is widely regarded as the greatest jazz orchestra in the world. The orchestra continues to tour the world spreading its unique brand of swing. In early December The Count Basie Orchestra will be in Los Angeles to record its latest collection of music.  During their stint at Capitol Records several of the band members will break from the recording to "stretch out" at the venerable World Stage Performance Gallery co-founded by master drummer Billy Higgins and consummate poet Kamau Daaood.  This is a historic, limited engagement. One night only.

Because seating for this historic, limited engagement is limited patrons are advised to purchase tickets in advance.

Performers include:

Scotty Barnhart - Trumpet

Cleave Guyton - Alto sax, flute, clarinet

Mark Williams - Trombone

Bobby Floyd - Piano

Will Matthews - Guitar

Trevor Ware - Bass

Ray 'Quasi' Nelson - Drums

Scotty Barnhart

Scotty Barnhart Whether it is performing as a featured soloist with The Count Basie Orchestra in venues all over the world for twenty years, playing muted solos behind legends Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, or Tony Bennett, appearing with pianist Marcus Roberts at Carnegie Hall, giving lectures at universities in South Africa, Japan, Europe, and all over the United States, or leading his own quintet at major Jazz festivals and night clubs, musicians and critics alike have acknowledged the emergence of a exciting and powerful voice in the world of Jazz. Trumpeter, composer, arranger, author, recording artist, and university professor of jazz studies, Scotty Barnhart began receiving critical acclaim from his work with Marcus Roberts who featured him alongside Wynton Marsalis on the 1990 release of Deep In The Shed (RCA/Novus), and the accolades continue with his most recent accomplishment being his appointment as Director of The Count Basie Orchestra in September 2013.

Residing in Los Angeles, California, and Tallahassee, Florida, William Terrell “Scotty” Barnhart was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 27, 1964. His earliest exposure to music was hearing his mother sing in the choir at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was christened by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and baptized by Dr. King, Sr. In addition to singing in the youth choir, Scotty began playing trumpet solos during regular Sunday morning worship services and special occasions.

Scotty discovered his love for Jazz when his parents took him to see The Count Basie Orchestra at the age of twelve. At age seventeen, this passion was fueled with a serious desire to learn to play Jazz after seeing the Basie Orchestra in concert again and having a long conversation with Basie veteran trumpeter, Sonny Cohn. Two weeks later, while touring Europe with the Jazz Abroad Tour, Scotty met Wynton Marsalis in London’s famed Jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s. A friendship began and Marsalis recognized Scotty’s talent and gave him one of his own custom designed trumpets when Scotty began playing with Marcus Roberts, who had been pianist/orchestrator for Marsalis for six years. Opportunities with Roberts and others were almost ended when mistakes by dentists left him unable to play the trumpet for eleven months. Repeated surgery was required to repair and rebuild after orthodontists caused severe bone and tooth loss. Down, but not out, Scotty used this period to listen to countless Jazz recordings and study jazz piano, composition, and arranging, and he became the pianist for the FAMU Jazz Orchestra until he could resume playing the trumpet. 

All of the aforementioned led to Scotty being offered a position with The Count Basie Orchestra, which he accepted in January 1993. While touring with the Basie Orchestra, Scotty gives seminars in Jazz history and improvisation at schools and universities all over the world. As a part of these clinics, he demonstrates how the style of Jazz trumpet progressed from Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie to Miles Davis and others up through Wynton Marsalis by actually playing their solos “verbatim.” This rare ability led to his being selected to perform trumpet solos in the style of Louis Armstrong in a documentary filmed at Universal Studios in Florida. 

Cleave Guyton

Cleave Guyton is a professional musician who plays the Saxophones, Flutes and Clarinet. He has been fortunate to have worked with artist’s such as: Aretha Franklin, Abdullah Ibrahim, Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Nat Adderley, Abby Lincoln, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Jon Hendricks, The Ray Charles Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Little Jimmy Scott, Spike Lee, Joe Williams, Late Night with Conan Obrien, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Ronny Jordan, The Mingus band, Cleo Laine, Chaka Khan, The Boys Choir and many more.

Mark Williams

Extensively touring and performing while pursuing his degrees, Mark Williams graduated from Howard University with honors, holding both a Bachelors and Masters in Music. Deciding to first give back to the location that raised him, his native Brooklyn, he would soon prove that his performing prowess could be duplicated as a teacher. Williams was recruited to work at the nation's leading charter school: KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) where he began two of the four KIPP music programs in the New York City region. He led his students to perform at some of New York's greatest stages from Madison Square Garden to Lincoln Center. Following KIPP, the Long Island University Pep Band requested Mark's skills as a guest conductor, giving him the opportunity to display his talents on the collegiate level. After focusing for several years on education, it wasn't long before the stage called him back to the forefront for an encore. Mark along with garnering his reputation as an accomplished educator, began touring with JT Taylor-Kool & The Gang. Soon after, he was hired as a permanent member of The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra. Mark has shared the stage and recorded with some of the brightest stars in music, including: Abdullah Ibrahim, The Skatalites, Talib Kweli, Music Soulchild, David Murray, and The Roots, to name a few. 

In addition to performing as a sideman, Mark continues to compose, arrange, and perform with his own quintet. In 1999, Mark received a $10,000 prize from the Bertelsman World of Expression Competition for his composition "It's Yours". Most recently, Mark was selected to participate in the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program as a result of his promising musical compositions. 

Mark Williams currently lives in New York City. With a strong sense of tradition and a desire for evolution, he continues making his own "Mark" in music.

Bobby Floyd

Bobby Floyd's talent has launched him into a very rewarding career, putting him in demand and making him one of the favorite, first-call pianists/organists for many well known artists. He has traveled the world accompanying Ray Charles on piano and organ. He currently makes guest appearances with some of the most distinguished orchestras, including The Boston Pops, The Rochester Philharmonic, and The Detroit Symphony. He is presently the feature pianist for the world-famous and legendary Count Basie Orchestra. He also tours nationally and internationally as organist for the Grammy Award winning Dr. John.

 The prestige associated with Floyd's worldwide appearances can also be witnessed at home. In his hometown, Columbus Ohio, Bobby is the feature pianist & organist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Byron Stripling where he has performed with a large number of major artist. He is occasionally featured with The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and other arts organizations and venues throughout Columbus and Ohio.

 He has also completed several recordings that can be purchased at many of the major online services including, iTunes, and cdbaby. Bobby's recordings and live performances demonstrate his ability to electrify audiences and have received the highest praise from critics and musicians alike.  

Will Matthews

Kansas City native Will Matthews is the guitarist for the world famous Count Basie Orchestra, joining the group in 1996 under the direction of trombonist Grover Mitchell to fill the coveted chair of the late legendary guitarist and composer, Freddie Green who was with the band for over fifty years.

Matthews has traveled and toured all over the world and has played on many studio recordings with the group, including two 'Grammy' winning recordings, Count Basie Orchestra Live at Manchester Guild in 1997 and Count Plays Duke 1999, as well as the 'Grammy' nominated recording Swing Shift in 2000

The Guitarist has played every major festival, concert hall and theatre in the world and has also had the opportunity to play one-nighters with a variety of artists coming through Kansas City such as Charles Earland, Freda Payne, Arthur Prysock, Jimmy Witherspoon, Carmen Bradford, Kevin Mahogany, and Bobby Watson.

In 1996 Matthews was invited to perform at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand for King Bhumbibol, along with other members of the Basie Orchestra, Benny Carter and Frank Foster. In 1997 he performed with the group for President William J. Clinton's second inaugural.

During his tenure with the band Matthews has performed with a who's who of artists such as Joe Williams, Frank Wess, Curtis Fuller, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Cobb, Hank Jones, Rufus Reed, John Faddis, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Lou Donaldson, Dorothy Donegan, Tom Scott, John Pizzarelli, Regina Carter, Nancy Wilson, Patti Austin, Rosemary Clooney, Dianne Reeves, Nnenna Freelon, Marlena Shaw, and Ledisi to name a few.

During the 1950's and 60's the classic Hammond B-3 organ, guitar, drums format emerged and has played a big role in the evolution of jazz music, and with the addition of the saxophone to the line-up augmenting it to a quartet, the sound became very popular with players ranging from Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett to Jimmy Smith. Most of the great jazz guitarists have recorded using this format as it seems that the guitar and organ go together like hand in glove and so I felt the need to be a part of the continuum of this great tradition with the release of my latest recording on the ARC label with the legendary organist from the Wes Montgomery Trio, Mel Rhyne and saxman Bobby Watson who was a member of the Art Blakey Jazz Messenger group and later formed his own groups, Horizon and the Live and Learn band.

Matthews also holds the guitar chair with the 18th Vine St. Big Band lead by Watson.

Trevor Ware

Trevor Ware is well recognized as one of the most supportive jazz bassists in Los Angeles.  His style, reminiscent of Paul ChambersSam Jones and Charles Mingus, focuses not only on producing a supportive bass tone with impeccable intonation, but also features long, creative, well developed bass lines.  One of the most in-demand bassists in Los Angeles, Ware is regularly featured with a number of bands, but most often forms strong bonds with drummers.  Developing his love for music at The World Stage Performance Gallery, Ware had the opportunity to hone the craft of swing under the tutelage of master drummer Billy Higgins (still the most recorded jazz drummer in history).  After being offered his first professional gig by legendary pianist and composer Horace Tapscott & New York saxophonist Sonny Fortune, Ware developed as sense of musical adventure playing in Tapscott’s quartet and Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra.  Ware later developed a strong bond with drummers Tootie HeathAlphonse MouzonClayton Cameron and Sherman Ferguson, appearing on Ferguson’s release “Welcome to my Vision” and Cameron’s CD “Here’s to the Messengers”.  Having appeared on over 30 recordings, Ware’s current musical associations include  Kenny BurrellMolly Ringwald & The Count Basie Orchestra.

Mr. Ware’s international festival performances include the North Sea, Monaco, Jazzaldia, JazzAspen, Monterey, Toronto, Joy of Jazz, & Montreux Jazz Festivals. His film credits include the Dreamworks film release Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Fox, the CBS series Smith starring Ray Liotta, and most recently a recurring role in Key & Peele comedy sketches.

Mr. Ware continues to travel internationally including: Amsterdam, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Geneva, Stockholm, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Oviedo, Monaco, London, Den Haag, Brussels, Hobart, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Osaka, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Paris, Lima, Buenos Aires and more.

Ray 'Quasi' Nelson

Ray Ellis Nelson II, formally known as Lil Ray Winner of Pax t.v. "Americas Most Talented Kids" and "Its Showtime at the Apollo", was born and raised in West Palm Beach Florida. Growing up in a family of musicians, he was heavily influenced by all types of music and since the age of 3 has been pursuing his passion for the drums. His Grandfather being a Jazz drummer was Ray’s first private instructor for most of his early childhood teaching him persistently on rudiments and the ability to read music. With a heavy gospel influence, developing a good “pocket” along with foot and hand speed were ideal skills for him to develop from an early age. When he joined the Jazz band in middle school, Ray was immediately engulfed in the style of the music, studying drummers such as Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Buddy Rich. This would change the way Ray played from that moment on.

By the time Quasi(Ray) graduated high school, he had released his debut DVD entitled “Out the Box,” performed internationally, several television performances, featured in Modern Drummer magazine, and captured the eye and ear of many big time musicians of multiple genres.

Currently in his Senior year at Florida A&M University where he studies Jazz, Ray is involved with almost every musical ensemble the university has to offer including the marching band, percussion ensemble, jazz band, multiple recruitment groups, and playing for all the theatre musical productions. Rays versatile skill set behind the drums have led him to play all genres of music. Playing with various bands and working with some of the most well known artist in the world, including but not limited to Nat Adderley Jr., Scotty Barnhart, Longineu Parsons, and Ron McCurdy. Ray was also the featured drummer in the 2014 Disneyland All-American College band.

Humbled by all of his experiences thus far, Ray continues to focus on growing not only as a drummer, but as a producer, entrepreneur and an overall better musician.

Purchase your tickets ,

Earlier Event: December 2
Count Basie Orchestra - Gualala, CA
Later Event: December 4
Count Basie Orchestra - Hollywood, CA