When you talk about American royalty, forget the Kennedys. Our domestic aristocrats are Joe King Oliver, Duke Ellington, and, of course, Count Basie. A blues and swing pianist, Basie was also a gifted bandleader, and his bandstand bred even more jazz royalty, such as Lester Young. From Harlem to Kansas City and back to New York, Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm had people jitterbugging at NYCs Savoy and fox-trotting at Roseland Ballroom. Their hits One OClock Jump and Jumpin at the Woodside became jazz standards. Basie died in Hollywood, Florida, in the mid-80s, but the Count is back, at least in spirit, when the Count Basie Orchestra plays at Coral Gables Congregational Church for the CGCC Community Arts Programs Summer Concert series. Now directed by Dennis Mackrel, the big band boasts special guest vocalist Carmen Bradford this Thursday.
Thu., June 9, 8 p.m., 2011