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Are You The Next Big Jazz Artist? – The First Ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest Launches Today!

September 10th, 2020

With an Esteemed Panel of Judges including Branford Marsalis,  

Christian McBride and others

Primary Wave Music Publishing and the Count Basie Estate are looking to foster the next generation of musical talent and have announced their first ever Count Basie Great American Swing Contest. Launching today, the contest is open to jazz amateurs and musicians of all ages who are required to submit their unique cover of one of three Count Basie classics – “One O’Clock Jump,” “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” or “Blues in Hoss’ Flat.” Contestants are encouraged to interpret the songs in any style and if they need a bit of inspiration, Primary Wave has created playlist of Basie covers they can stream before they enter. All entries will need to be in video format and should be submitted via the brand new Count Basie website – – by November 1, 2020. Additional information and rules can be found at the site as well.

The winner of the Count Basie Great American Swing Contest will be chosen on December 1, 2020 by an esteemed panel of judges including Branford Marsalis, Bruce Barth, Christian McBride, Helen Sung, Mark Ruffin, Mimi Jones, Nat Adderly Jr., Robert Kraft, Scotty Barnhart, Stefon Harris, and Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies Wayne Winborne. Select judges will work with the winner/winners as a mentor to re-record their entry in a professional studio.The final recording will then be officially released, with a label partner to be announced, in February. Partners for the contest include the Blue Note Jazz Club, DownBeat Magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, and SiriusXM.

“This is a significant year for Basie as 2020 is the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Count Basie Orchestra, thirteen of his albums celebrate important milestones, and the Basie documentary Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes will be available everywhere on September 11,” states Robert Dippold, Primary Wave’s Partner & President, Digital Strategy. He continues, “This contest is one of many key upcoming marketing initiatives launched by Primary Wave to continue to raise awareness for Basie’s music & legacy.”

Of the contest Wayne Winborne, Executive Director at Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies said, “As partners with the Count Basie Estate and Primary Wave Music Publishing, we are very excited to not only bring Count Basie’s music to the current generation, but also to have the next generation extend the legacy of the iconic Basie, particularly in the context of music education.”

Primary Wave Music Publishing acquired the Count Basie music-publishing catalog in 2018. As part of this deal, the company has acquired all music assets, which includes copyrights and royalty streams of compositions written by Basie such as “One O’clock Jump” and “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” as well as royalty streams for all masters he recorded including “April in Paris” and “Georgia on My Mind.” Jazz icon, Count Basie, is considered one of the greatest bandleaders of all time. He was the arbiter of the big-band swing sound and his unique style of fusing blues and jazz established swing as a predominant music style. Basie changed the jazz landscape and shaped mid-20th century popular music. Basie was a true innovator, leading the band for almost 50 years and recording on over 480 albums.  He earned nine GRAMMY Awards and made history in 1958 by becoming the first African-American to receive the award.  He has had an unprecedented four recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame – “One O’Clock Jump” (1979), “April in Paris” (1985), “Everyday I Have the Blues” (1992), and “Lester Leaps In” (2005), along with a slew of other awards and honors not only for his music, but for his humanitarianism and philanthropy around the world.