Count Basie Orchestra brings big band jazz to Grass Valley tonight |

Count Basie Orchestra brings big band jazz to Grass Valley tonight

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Celebrating 80 years, the legendary Count Basie Orchestra brings seasonal big band jazz to The Center for the Arts tonight.

The year 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.

Orchestra director Scotty Barnhart is an acclaimed jazz trumpeter, leader, composer, arranger, educator, author and now in his twentieth year with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra. He is a two-time Grammy Award winner with three critically acclaimed recordings and over ten recordings with the likes of Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Ray Charles, and Tito Puente.

The evening will include featured vocalist Carmen Bradford. Bradford has performed with the Count Basie Orchestra since 1982. She has guested on recordings by George Benson, Dori Caymmi, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, toured Europe with the David Murray Big Band, performed the songs of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn with flutist James Newton, sang in concerts with the Doc Severinsen Orchestra, and is a vocal jazz professor at USC.

Coinciding with celebrating its 80th anniversary, the legendary Count Basie Orchestra continues to make music history with their release of A Very Swingin' Basie Christmas! on Concord Jazz. The album boasts classic holiday songs, rendered in quintessential Basie style, under the masterful direction of longtime Basie trumpeter Scotty Barnhart and produced by seven-time Grammy winner and former Basie drummer Gregg Field.

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"I think [Count Basie] would be proud if he heard this record," says Barnhart, who conceived the idea of focusing on Christmas music. When asked how he and the orchestra were able to channel the essence of Basie into the repertoire, Barnhart explains, "We have 80 years of history on our side."

The orchestra has played many times for Kings, Queens, and other members of Royalty around the world, appeared in movies, television shows, won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and has 18 Grammy Awards, the most for any orchestra.


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra

Directed by Scotty Barnhart

Featured vocalist Carmen Bradford

A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 1 7:30 p.m

WHERE: The Center for the Arts

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley

TICKETS: $37 Members, $42 General Public

The Center Box Office – 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op Community Market – 530-272-5333

Tickets online at


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