UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices came together in Pittsburgh in 1996 to record a live album. The big band and the vocal quartet get together in Pennsylvania again — at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium — seeking to re-create the magic that won them a 1997 Grammy Award.
Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State presentation are $45 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $35 for a person 18 and younger. Buy tickets online at www.cpa.psu.edu or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays when Penn State classes are in session) and Bryce Jordan Center (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.
Pianist and bandleader William “Count” Basie died in 1984, but the big band that carries his name and upholds his legacy of Kansas City-style swing still sizzles under the direction of Scotty Barnhart. A trumpet soloist with the orchestra for 20 years, Barnhart leads a big band that’s garnered 18 Grammys — the most of any jazz orchestra.
“There’s no debating the fact that the present edition of the Basie Orchestra is a first-rate ensemble,” wrote a critic for www.AllAboutJazz.com.
The big band last performed at Eisenhower in 2007.
New York Voices, an ensemble that had its beginnings at New York’s Ithaca College, last year celebrated a quarter century of elegant group singing rooted in jazz but with branches into Brazilian, R&B, pop and classical music.
“New York Voices lives up to its reputation as the most exciting vocal ensemble in current jazz,” wrote a Boston Herald Reviewer. "To collect such quality voices in one group is rare enough, yet the real trick of New York Voices is how well they mesh.”
The vocal quartet, which hasn’t performed at Penn State since 1996, has appeared across the planet in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Blue Note (New York City, Tokyo and Milan) and the Zurich Opera House.
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.