Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center will present the Count Basie Orchestra Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall.
William “Count” Basie started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935 in Kansas City, Mo. Within a year, America was listening in on radio shows throughout the country to hear what would become “the swingingest band in all the land.”
In the history of jazz music, Basie is the only bandleader whose orchestra is still performing sold-out concerts all over the world-with members personally chosen by him-30 years after his death.
Since Basie’s passing in 1984, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes, Dennis Mackrel and now Scotty Barnhart have led the Count Basie Orchestra and maintained it as one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. The orchestra has won 18 Grammy Awards and 20 Downbeat and Jazz Times polls, more than any other big band in jazz.
The current 18-member roster includes musicians hired by Basie himself: Carmen Bradford who joined in 1983, Clarence Banks who joined in 1984, Mike Williams who joined in 1987 and Doug Miller who joined in 1989.
The Count Basie Orchestra has performed for Presidential Inaugural Balls and for royalty all over the world. The orchestra has made numerous television and movie appearances, including a featured role in the 1960 film “Cinderfella” starring Jerry Lewis.
Tickets for the Count Basie Orchestra are $35-$40 with discounts for UGA students. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center, online at pac.uga.edu or by calling the box office at 706-542-4400 or toll free at 888-289-8497.