Count Basie Photo

Count Basie

Born: Aug 21, 1904

Death: Apr 26, 1984

Birthplace: Red Bank

Profession: Actor

Nationality: United States

Count Basie

Date of Birth : Aug 21, 1904
Date of Death : Apr 26, 1984
Birth Place : Red Bank

William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924 he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935. That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others.


  • Actor
  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Songwriter
  • Organist
  • Bandleader
  • Jazz Pianist

Also known as

  • The Kid from Red Bank
  • Count Basie and His Band
  • William Basie
  • Count Baise
  • Count Basie and His Orchestra
  • Willaim Basie
  • Count Basie (with Bennie Moten Orchestra)
  • Count Basie Bunch
  • William Allen Basie
  • The Count
  • Count Bassie
  • The Count Basie Bunch
  • William James Basie


  • Harvey Lee Basie
  • Lillian Basie


  • Catherine Morgan

Awards Won

  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Grammy Hall of Fame Award
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album
  • Grammy Trustees Award
  • Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo
  • Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Grammy Award for Best Performance by an Orchestra – for Dancing
Source: Freebase, CC-YY
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