18 GRAMMY AWARDS – 20 DOWNBEAT, JAZZTIMES READERS & CRITICS POLLS
This year 2015, marks 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”.