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Count Basie Orchestra to bring the real swing and blues

Jazz lovers will soon be swinging again with the world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra performing the opening concert for the annual big event "Jazz Up" which begins in June.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder, William James "Count" Basie, the band will give a concert at 8pm on June 7 (Monday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, as part of its 2004 world tour.

Founded in 1936, the Count Basie Orchestra today consists of 19 first-rate performers who preserve the memory of its legendary namesake and define the "swing, blues and style" just as it did when Count Basie was at the helm. The orchestra has won 17 Grammy Awards (including Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance Award in 1996 and 1998), two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards and nine Downbeat Readers and Critics Poll Awards.

Under the leadership of trombonist Bill Hughes, who has a long association with Count Basie, the band is bringing generations of fans together, keeping the music true to the Basie tradition. With drummer Butch Miles as the core of the rhythmic section, joined by some great soloists, to reinforce the strength of the ensemble, the band bursts with musical vibrancy. Swing music is neither a fad nor a passing fancy with the Count Basie Orchestra. Rather, it is a living art form with an esteemed tradition.

"Concert by Count Basie Orchestra", one of the programmes in "Jazz Up" series, is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets at $400, $300, $220 and $150 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues and a single purchase of standard tickets for "Count Basie Orchestra" and other two programmes in the same series - "Terje Rypdal" and "Admad Jamal".

For programme enquiries and details of the pre-performance lecture (conducted in English), call 2268 7321 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked through .

Ends/Thursday, April 29, 2004
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