Opening the 56th Annual EIU Jazz Festival is the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, celebrating its 80th anniversary, 17 Grammy Awards and 20 Down Beat and JazzTimes Readers and Critics Polls! William
Count Basie started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri. Within a year, America was listening in on popular radio shows throughout the country to hear what would become "The Swingingest Band In All The Land"! A phenomena was born in 1935 that is still going strong today! Since Basie's passing in 1984, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes and Dennis Mackrel have led the Count Basie Orchestra and maintained it as one of the elite performing organizations in jazz.
Sponsored by the Consolidated Communications Artist Series underwriting great jazz performances.