The idea of royalty is increasingly strange in our modern world. Nobility, though, for the sake of it, is no guarantee of anything. Consider the title of "count." On one hand, you get Dracula. Boo!
On the other hand? A genius like Count Basie!
Tonight, celebrate the final performance of the "August Nights at Harkness - Music the Way It Was!" series featuring a concert by the Count Basie Orchestra. The 18-piece big band, an iconic swing outfit that dates back over 70 years, has featured not just Basie's arrangements and compositions but also boasted such alums as Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Buddy Rich, Illinois Jacquet, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitgerald.
To this day, the Basie band attracts the brightest young jazz artists in the world.
In support, Rob Zappulla & His Orchestra play "Come Fly With Me - the Songs of Frank Sinatra," and the evening's youth performance will feature the Glenn Hansen Orchestra. Come early to the verdant setting of Waterford's Harkness Memorial State Park. The Bee and Thistle Inn & Spa will sponsor Best Picnicking awards.
- RICK KOSTER
Count Basie Orchestra, 5:30 tonight, gates open at 4 p.m. for picnicking, Harkness Memorial State Park, 275 Great Neck Road, Waterford; August Nights at Harkness ... Music the Way It Was; $30 at the gate, $20 group rate for 10 or more, VIP packages available; (860) 434-1882, bringourmusicback.org.