Count Basie

IAN Productions

Sammy Nestico, an omnipresence in big band arranging and composing, best known for a close association with the Count Basie Orchestra, died of natural causes on Jan. 17 at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 96.

Count Basie
T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center

The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank, NJ is presenting a 116th birthday celebration for jazz legend Count Basie Friday night.  It's a Facebook Live Event from 7-9pm.

The Center's Gilda Rogers says the celebration, featuring the music from the Vel Johnson Jazz Band, is also a fundraiser for the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.

Rogers says Fortune, an African-American journalist, newspaper publisher, author and early civil rights activist paved the way for Basie and others to succeed.

Count Basie Has A New Home in Newark

Jun 14, 2018
Reg Burkett / Getty Images

Nearly 1,000 artifacts connected to the life of Count Basie life will eventually be available to view at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark.

Dave Dexter, Jr. Collection, LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library, UMKC

When most people think of Walter Page, they think of a steady, driving rhythm. Yes, absolutely — but there was a lot more to his art.

Jon Hendricks

Legendary and pioneering jazz singer and songwriter Jon Hendricks died on Wednesday.  He was 96.  WBGO's Doug Doyle has a special tribute to the man Time Magazine called the "James Joyce of Jive."

For more on the life of Jon Hendricks, you can check out this post on our website.

Anna Webber

Christian McBride doesn’t need a big band to make a big impression, as he’s shown us countless times — on the bass, on the bandstand and in the booth. But when he finally did assemble a big band of his own, he saw  results: The Good Feeling, on Mack Avenue, won the 2011 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

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This is FRESH AIR. Count Basie's band from Kansas City reached New York in December of 1936. Musicians took note immediately. But the general public took a little longer.