So for the first time in a very long time I decided to turn the radio on last night. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find I had tuned in at the beginning of Triple R’s program Hellzapoppin’ with Eli Schoulal. Two hours of of ‘wild vintage and neo-vintage toe tappers’ at primetime on a Saturday night meant yes, I did stay home and clean my room to some swing (listen to the program here).
The best part was that I discovered that the Count Basie Orchestra will be touring Australia in October! I’m pretty excited as I’m a huge fan of the big-band swing era.
Founded in the late 1930s by swing and jazz pioneer William “Count” Basie, the orchestra have maintained a massive following in the wake of the decline in swing music popularity in the 40s and 50s as well as Basie’s death in 1984. Over the years, they have collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.
Their current ensemble includes saxophonist John Williams, trombonist Clarence Banks, bassist James Leary and vocalist Carmen Bradford, who has performed with Tony Bennett and the late James Brown.
The tickets may be a little on the pricey side, but I strongly recommend this as a once in a lifetime situation not to be missed!
Tour dates are as follows around Australia:
Wednesday 10 October – Hammer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Thursday 11 October – Concert Hall, QLD Performing Arts Centre
Saturday 13 October – Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Sunday 14 October – Perth Concert Hall