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Count Basie Orchestra(Profile/Biography)

United States
The Count Basie Orchestra, with current director, Dennis Mackrel, is one of the most thriving big bands in history. With 17 Grammy awards, the musicians have grown up with the Kansas City Swing style of Count Basie and added their own voice to the band. With 19 performers, 17 sidemen, 1 vocalist, and 1 bandleader, they’ve become the premier jazz band. There is a distinct Kansas City style swing that is unique to the Count Basie Orchestra. The Orchestra celebrates the big band experience through the completely original and identifiable Count Basie repertoire and shares the experience of her musical heritage with the audiences.

Count Basie Orchestra has had the honored of a private jam session and performance by command of the King of Thailand. They have also played in the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival’s 25th Anniversary, broadcast the premiere of London Radio Station, JAZZ-FM London with Ella Fitzgerald, performed at the Presidential Inauguration of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, played in a Royal Command Performance for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, recorded the Wall Street movie sound track accompaniment to Frank Sinatra, and participated in television advertising campaign for corporations like Ford Motor and Lincoln-Mercury.

The Orchestra’s multi-award winning sensation and recordings include 17 Grammy Awards, 12 Downbeat Reader's & Critic's Poll for Best Big Band, Jazz Times Critic's & Reader's Poll, and 14 recordings including “Ray Charles Sings Basie Swings” and newly recorded "Basie is Back - recorded live in Japan".

The Count Basie Orchestra of today is nineteen performers committed to upholding and advancing this “American Institution.” Some members are new, yet the majority of the sound still swings from musicians handpicked by Count Basie himself. They are in demand for television and films, have won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and continue to accumulate awards and special recognitions.
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