The Count is in the house! CSU Jazz Ensemble I presents a program of music from the Count Basie Orchestra featuring swinging masterpieces that are sure to keep your toes tapping and your spirit feeling warm all night.
“I can’t think of better music for lifting the soul than that of Basie,” says CSU Director of Jazz Studies Peter Sommer.
Join us for this celebration of the Kid from Red Bank!
Selections will include classics such as “April in Paris” and “Moten Swing” from the Basie library.
“The CSU jazz program exposes the student to a wide variety of styles in the idiom,” notes Sommer. “The Basie concert is this year’s ‘Jazz Classics’ concert, which we present every fall. Last year we focused on the music of Bebop masters and the year before that was Duke Ellington – this year we’re celebrating the Kid from Red Bank.”
About William “Count” Basie (1904 –1984)
American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer, Basie’s first learned to play the piano from his mother. When he began performing in his teens, Basie dropped out of school and operated lights for vaudeville and improvised to accompany silent films at a local theater in his town of Red Bank, New Jersey.
Basie went on to develop his performing career and eventually formed his own jazz orchestra in 1936, which he led for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two “split” tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Notable musicians Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Freddie Green, Jimmy Rushing and many others came to prominence under Basie’s direction. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump,” developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and “April In Paris”.