Count Basie Collection Arrives at IJS
The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers University-Newark is now home to the collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts that belonged to late jazz icon William J. “Count” Basie Jr. The Count Basie Collection includes his pianos, Hammond organ, photos, correspondence, concert programs, business records, housewares and press clippings. Scholars, curators, writers, students, filmmakers, and music aficionados also will find clothes, accessories, scrapbooks, and audiovisual material from Basie as the collection comes “home” to reside in the Red Bank, New Jersey native’s home territory.
One of the giants of jazz, a global icon, Count Basie remains one of the most popular and recognized figures in American music, even now, 34 years after his death. He was a jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. He enjoyed a career that spanned more than 60 years and helped to elevate jazz as a serious art form. Count Basie established swing as one of jazz’s predominant styles and solidified the link between jazz and the blues.
Count Basie’s accolades are many. He earned nine Grammy Awards and made history in 1958 by becoming the first African American to receive a Grammy. Four of his recordings have been 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). In addition to his music, he also received numerous awards and honors from around the world for his humanitarianism and philanthropy. The collection will be available for research in the near future.