Orange County

OC Performing Arts Center

Segerstrom Concert Hall
Count Basie Orchestra performance



Count Basie Orchestra Performs Holiday Favorites at LA Phil
California Christmas Events


For those who've seen the Count Basie Orchestra or heard their records and CDs, you'll know what we mean when we say that this will be one of the top concerts to put you in the mood. Exceptional musicians with the finest orchestration will perform in the style the famous composer and musician, Count Basie, was known for.  One of the most recognized jazz musicians ever to exist, Count Basie has passed, but his spirit lives in a seasonal offering that will be not only fun, lively and festive, but will have you inspired for the new year to come.

Jazz up December with “A Count Basie Holiday,” when the world-famous, 17-time Grammy winning Count Basie Orchestra  at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Previous Concert with County Basie Band:

Conducted by Carl Topilow, music director and conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra—self-billed as “The Swingingest Band in All the Land”—is known for remaining true to the traditions of the Swing and Big Band eras. Topilow, with his trademark red clarinet close at hand, is an exceptionally busy and versatile conductor who, in addition to his position with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, is the music director for the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, and  conductor and director of orchestral programs at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He’s also in great demand as guest conductor for masterworks, pops and opera concerts worldwide. Of particular note are Topilow’s pops programs featuring him in a wide variety of styles as clarinetist, including jazz, Dixieland, swing, classical and Klezmer.

Directed by Bill Hughes, the Basie orchestra musicians have grown up with the Kansas City “swing style” of Count Basie and added their own voice to the band. Considered one of the premier jazz bands of all time, some of the sound still swings from musicians handpicked by the Count himself. While the first half of the concert features Pacific Symphony performing such holiday classics and favorites as Let it Snow!, Sleigh Ride, and Suite from Polar Express, the second half showcases the Symphony and The Count Basie Orchestra in a spectacular swingin’ performance together! Tickets are $30-$140. For more information, call 714-755-5799 or visit

If he were alive today, Count Basie would probably be pleased to know that the orchestral institution he founded in 1936 is still alive and swinging. The Count Basie Orchestra, whose hits include April in Paris, Discommotion, Whirly Bird, Shiny Stockings and One O’clock Jump, remains one of the most thriving big bands in history. With 19 performers, 17 sidemen, one vocalist, and a bandleader, the orchestra remains in demand for television and films and has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once. It continues to accumulate awards and special recognitions. Post-war film appearances and recordings on the new ‘hi-fi LP discs” with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra exported the swinging ‘Basie Sound’ to Europe and the Far East. The demand for records and live appearances became international.

Basie, a New Jersey native, grew up with the tempos of the Swing Era in New York City, when live big bands were filling ballrooms with dance rhythms. But toward the close of the Roaring 20s, it was Kansas City that was drawing notice for Jazz, this new wave of “wide-open” musical style. Young pianist “Bill Basie” landed there while working the national vaudeville circuit and briefly joined Walter Paige’s Blue Devils, then stayed on with The Benny Moten Orchestra, before founding his own orchestra. Despite half a century of changing tastes in popular music, the endurance of The Count Basie Orchestra confirms the genius of the Count’s earliest musical instincts.


Where:  RenĂ©e and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

When:  Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 14-16, at 8 p.m.

How much: Tickets are $30-$140.

Contact: Call 714-755-5799 or visit




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