West Point's Jazz Knights to celebrate County Basie's 100th birthday

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    West Point-The U.S. Military Academy Band continues its "Music under the Stars" summer concert series on Sunday, Aug. 8, at the Trophy Point Amphitheatre. At 7:30 p.m., the Jazz Knights will celebrate Count Basie's 100th birthday by performing many of his big band hits. John Riley, from the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, will guest on drums to help pay tribute to the "Count." The concert is free and open to the public. Count Basie was a leading figure of the swing era and an outstanding representative of the big band style. With the exception of a brief period in the 1950's, Basie led a big band from 1935 to his death almost fifty years later. Count Basie's orchestra was characterized by a light, swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work, and outstanding soloists. The Jazz Knights will honor Basie by playing such selections as All of Me, One O' Clock Jump, Jumpin' at the Woodside, and April in Paris. Every Day I Have the Blues will feature the Jazz Knights' vocalist, Sergeant First Class Laura Bradley. The Jazz Knights' guest artist, John Riley, is enjoying a stellar career as a jazz drummer. Riley is a Grammy Award winning recording artist and performs regularly with the renowned Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. John Riley is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and SUNY-Purchase. He has written two critically acclaimed books about jazz drumming. Allow extra travel time for the 100% vehicle and photo I.D. inspection at Stony Lonesome and Thayer gates. Due to changing security requirements at West Point, call the Academy Band's hotline at 938-2617, or check www.usma.edu/special before leaving for the concert. For concert information, cancellations and updates, call the Academy Band's 24-hour hotline at 938-2617; or at http://www.usma.edu/band