William “Count” Basie (see Count Basie
) (1904 - 1984) was a jazz pianist, organist, composer, and bandleader. He created a swing band in the early 1930s that was a favorite of many dancers and of vocalists including Billie Holiday. The Count Basie Orchestra is a 16 to 18 piece big band, one of the most prominent jazz performing groups of the swing era. The band survived the late-forties decline in big band popularity and went on to produce notable collaborations with singers such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the fifties and sixties.