2015 marked the 80th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William “Count Basie” (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935, and proceeded to develop and maintain one of the greatest jazz orchestras in music history. With Mr. Basie’s meticulous attention to detail, selecting the very best musicians, and making sure that every tune could be danced to, The Count Basie Orchestra soon became the favorite for everyone to listen and dance to with it’s irresistible Kansas City Swing beat.

Count Basie was able to get many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz to be a part of his orchestra, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Sweets Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, and Clark Terry amongst others.
The orchestra has played many times for Kings, Queens, and other members of Royalty around the world. Appeared in movies, television shows, tv and radio commercials,  won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and has 18 Grammy Awards, the most for any orchestra.
Today, under the leadership of it’s Director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary and continuing the excellent standards in swinging and shouting the blues with precision, and continuing to be “The Most Explosive Force In Jazz”.


The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra have recorded two new albums both with some really special guests and releasing in 2018

We will be announcing dates for Australia July/Aug; Japan and New York Aug; Russia in September 2018 soon!


A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! includes 11 holiday tracks featuring special guests Johnny Mathis, Ledisi, Ellis Marsalis and Carmen Bradford.

What the critics say…

“…tradition served up with unassuming style.”  The New York Times
“The core Basie virtues remain intact: meticulous musicianship, tight comradeship, buoyant swing…Barnhart and other soloists shine.” ***1/2 – DownBeat Magazine
“The 80-year-old Count Basie Orchestra is out with its first holiday album…Director and trumpeter Scotty Barnhart has kept the signature feel-good, blues-based Basie sound…” – Associated Press
“The title of the disc, A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas!, tells it all and it’s made possible by a big band full of solid musicians.” – Louisiana Weekly
“Launched in Kansas City, the orchestra’s swinging sound was made legendary during the Swing Era and has continued to enthrall big band enthusiasts with its resonance and articulate performances ever since. Their performances feature great soloists, many of whom have been with the orchestra for more than 20 years and exciting ways to hear big band music. So don’t miss this holiday event and come to hear long-forgotten carols and age-old Christmas songs that evoke images of long evenings in good company, logs in the fireplace, candlelight and swinging jazz.” – AXS.com
“Thirty years after its bandleader’s passing, The Count Basie Orchestra has continued to make music without any sign of slowing down…a fabulous piece of music…” – Music Whatever’s annual Christmas wrap-up

William ‘Count’ Basie inducted into the American Jazz Walk of Fame at The 18th and Vine St. Museum

The inaugural celebration of Count Basie in the American Jazz Walk of Fame took place in Kansas City, MO on August 23rd 2014. The plaque unveiling was followed by The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra performing to a sell-out audience at the Gem Theatre

Read more

Monday August 21st 2014 The Telegraph Count Basie: A Jazz Pioneer who still inspires. Martin Chilton

Count Basie, who died 30 years ago, was born on August 21 1904. The big band star remains one of the most important figures in jazz.

Read article

Follow The Count Basie Orchestra