Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Acting Director of Jazz Studies Mark Williams Featured on Count Basie Orchestra’s 2024 Grammy Award-Winning Album

February 06, 2024 School of Music | Jazz Studies | College of Arts and Humanities

The Count Basie Orchestra with their instruments

The orchestra, which includes WIlliams as one of its resident trombonists, won Best Large Jazz Ensemble for “Basie Swings The Blues.”

The Count Basie Orchestra, which counts Acting Director of Jazz Studies Mark Williams as one of its resident trombonists, won a 2024 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for “Basie Swings the Blues.” 

Named for pianist, bandleader and founder William James “Count” Basie, the Count Basie Orchestra is a legendary ensemble that has appeared at every major jazz festival and concert hall in the world. In its 90-year history, the group has played with some of the biggest names in jazz and blues, including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Williams has performed with the ensemble for 13 years.

The idea for “Basie Swings the Blues” came to current director Scotty Barnhart as the ensemble was being sworn in to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2019. It blends a number of different blues styles and features leading blues musicians like Shemekia Copeland, Bettye LaVette and Bobby Rush. 

Williams has played on three of the orchestra’s previously nominated albums: “Slow Boat Leaving China,” “All About That Basie” and “Live at Birdland.”

Read more about the 66th Grammy award recipients and nominees on the Grammy website.