The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT ELLA FITZGERALD & LOUIS ARMSTRONG
Directed by Scotty Barnhart
Featuring special guest vocalist Carmen Bradford
The living embodiment of swing, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, will mesmerise audiences with their elegant and irresistible sound when they take over the Concert Hall stage this August.
Directed by veteran trumpeter Scotty Barnhart, the 18-piece Count Basie Orchestra features a peerless array of instrumentalists with combined credentials that have topped the upper echelons of the international jazz world for decades.
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.
A special feature this tour will be the Orchestra’s tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald and the immortal Louis Armstrong. 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 Sydney Opera House audiences, this tour is a very special occasion and a rare chance to see a truly elite jazz ensemble.
"Purring one moment and roaring the next in trademark fashion"
“If you play a tune and a person don't tap their feet, don't play the tune"
Presented by Phil Bathols & Jeff Lewis.