Count Basie Theatre will keep name honoring jazz icon


Share post:

Staff Writer

RED BANK — Although he only performed there once, William “Count” Basie’s name will continue to hang in lights above the borough’s historic theater.

- Advertisement -

Thanks to a recent agreement with the William J. Basie Trust, Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre will continue to use the jazz legend’s name for the next 50 years and honor him through the creation of educational programs.

In addition, the agreement also includes five 10-year extensions, bringing the total time that the theater can use the “Count Basie” name to 100 years.

“We admire the strong work the Count Basie Theatre continues to present and produce,” said Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq., trustee of the William J. Basie Trust, in a press release. “We look forward to working with the Theatre to fulfill our mutual missions of keeping Count Basie’s music and his groundbreaking contributions to American music etched forever in the mind of the public.”

The Count Basie Theatre, which celebrates its 90th birthday this November, previously operated as the Carlton Theatre, Monmouth Arts Center and several other names. But shortly before Basie — a Red Bank native — died in 1984, he gave his permission for the theater to be named in his honor.

“Mr. Basie was the first of so many artists from our region, who started small and went on to become global superstars,” said Adam Philipson, president and CEO of the Count Basie Theatre. “We’re aiming for a similar trajectory with our community outreach programs, world-class entertainment options, our work in area schools and our Performing Arts Academy.”

As part of the recent agreement with the William J. Basie Trust, the theater will continue to include information about Basie’s life and accomplishments on its website as well as historic information in its “Showtime” playbill, feature a bust and photograph of Basie in its lobby and develop educational programs to teach students about his role in the history of jazz.

“We are currently developing a program that will likely take place in April during Jazz Appreciation Month,” Philipson said. “It will celebrate the life of William Basie and his legacy to the art of jazz.”

The Count Basie Theatre is in the midst of a $20 million expansion plan that will add additional classrooms, spaces for nonprofits partnering with the theater and a second performance venue. Naming opportunities for several new facilities are available to donors, but the entire venue will continue to be known as the Count Basie.

Stay Connected


Current Issue

Latest News

Related articles

New Jersey needs law to control invasive species

By Tom Gilbert What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in New Jersey yards and...

Monmouth County News Briefs, Jan. 25

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Jan. 19 cleared a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn (R-Monmouth) that would,...

Eatontown council to consider request for cannabis cultivation business

EATONTOWN — Borough Council members may take formal action at their meeting tonight, Jan. 25, regarding a proposal...

What’s happening in nature during winter’s chill?

By Alison Mitchell New Jersey was quite frigid in December, but temperatures warmed as the new year arrived. So...