The living embodiment of swing, one of the most elegant and irresistible sounds that ever shook the western world, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra have announced they will tour Australia and New Zealand in July/August 2018.
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, directed by veteran trumpeter Scotty Barnhart, features a peerless array of 18 instrumentalists together with special guest vocalist, the remarkable Carmen Bradford, who was hired by Basie himself.
From Billie Holiday to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra to Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan to Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra has provided the supremely distinctive sound and swing behind some of the greatest singers of the modern age.
Current members still include trombonist Clarence Banks, hired all those years ago by Basie himself, as well as former members of Stan Kenton’s, Benny Goodman’s and Lionel Hampton's ensembles.
Special guest vocalist is the remarkable Carmen Bradford, who has performed with artists including Tony Bennett, James Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Sinatra and George Benson. Count Basie heard Bradford sing in the early eighties and immediately hired her as vocalist for his Orchestra, a role she has continued in to this day.
This tour will present a special tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong in Auckland, in July 2018. The Basie Band had a strong history with both artists, and their reverence for them will shine through in this homage to these two greats of jazz.
The tradition of excellence has continued beyond the Count's passing in 1984 to make the Orchestra a permanent fixture in Down Beat and Jazz Times polls throughout the '80s and '90s. The latest of a total 18 Grammy Awards was bestowed as recently as their Count Plays Duke album of '99.
Simply put, the Count Basie Orchestra is the real deal, a who’s who of the best swing players the world has to offer. For Australian and New Zealand audiences, this tour is a very special occasion and a rare chance to see a truly elite jazz ensemble staged in some of our most prestigious venues. Don't miss these historic concerts.
"The greatest big band working today"
- NEW YORK POST
"Purring one moment and roaring the next in trademark fashion"
- WASHINGTON POST
“If you play a tune and a person don't tap their feet, don't play the tune"
- COUNT BASIE