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Count Basie Orchestra - Hollywood, CA

  • Hollywood Bowl 2301 North Highland Avenue Los Angeles, CA, 90068 United States (map)

Count Basie Orchestra - Playboy Jazz Festival

The Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Scotty Barnhart

“Count Basie isn't just a man, or even a band. He's a way of life.” Those words, from the legendary singer Lena Horne, speak to the enduring legacy of William “Count” Basie. The group was founded by Basie in 1935 at the height of the big band swing era, and the Count Basie Orchestra has continued on in stride since the leader’s passing in 1984. 

The Count Basie Orchestra has served as an incubator for some of the greatest soloists, composers, arrangers, and vocalists in jazz history, including Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, and many more who became international stars in conjunction with their work with Basie. Led by Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes, Dennis Mackrel, and now Scotty Barnhart, the band maintains a mission of preserving an American musical heritage, an 18-member orchestra serving as a throughline connecting the legacy of swing to Basie’s stomping, shouting blues delivery.

With a membership spanning generations – including a number of musicians hired by Basie himself, as well as a cast of younger players – the Count Basie Orchestra swings with a sense of history and an eye on the future. In 2017, the Count Basie Orchestra released A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas!, the first holiday album in the 80-year history of the orchestra. Featuring guest vocalists Johnny Mathis and Ledisi, in addition to singing by the Orchestra’s own Carmen Bradford and Ellis Marsalis, the album went to No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts and sold out on Amazon. 2018 finds the Orchestra celebrating its musical lineage – which includes past landmark pairings with singers like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Jackie Wilson – with a new recording. The album, which is scheduled for release via Concord later this year, features Stevie Wonder, organist Joey DeFrancesco, vocal group Take 6, Kurt Elling, and more, furthering a one-of-a-kind musical legacy and tradition. 

Artists

  • The Ramsey Lewis Quintet 
  • Jazmine Sullivan 
  • Charles Lloyd & The Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams – Featuring Bill Frisell, Stuart Mathis, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland 
  • Tower of Power - 50th Anniversary 2018 
  • Hubtones: Freddie Hubbard’s 80th Birthday Celebration - Featuring Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Jeremy Pelt, David Weiss, Benny Green, Vicente Archer, Roy McCurdy 
  • The Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Scotty Barnhart 
  • Richard Bona and Mandekan Cubano 
  • Kneebody 
  • Parlor Social with Dessy Di Lauro x Ric’key Pageot 
  • The LAUSD/Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Big Band - Under the direction of Tony White and J.B. Dyas 
  • George Lopez Master of Ceremonies