Count Basie Band - 2nd Jam

image for Count Basie Band - 2nd Jam
Exhibition Label
This group portrait by Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili pictures Count Basie (lower right, in front of the piano) and other members of his band, including celebrated saxophonist Lester Young (center, with black hat). Influenced by the piano styles of Willie "the Lion" Smith and Fats Waller, Basie formed his first group in 1935. For the next forty years, Basie performed and recorded with a frequency unmatched by any other big band. In addition to routinely crisscrossing the United States, he led thirty European tours and traveled eight times across the Pacific Ocean to entertain audiences. In 1961 he gave a memorable performance at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration, solidifying his national reputation. Basie's ability to adapt to changing musical tastes, while maintaining the group's artistic integrity, was a hallmark of this extraordinary jazz orchestra.
Gjon Mili, 28 Nov 1904 - 14 Feb 1984
Count Basie, 21 Aug 1904 - 26 Apr 1984
Lester Willis Young, 27 Aug 1909 - 15 Mar 1959
Buck Clayton, 12 Nov 1911 - 8 Dec 1991
Earle Warren, 1 Jul 1914 - 4 Jun 1994
Jo Jones, 7 Oct 1911 - 3 Sep 1985
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Home Furnishings\Drinking vessel\Glass
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Music\Musical instrument\Drum
Music\Musical instrument\Clarinet
Count Basie: Male
Count Basie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Count Basie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Count Basie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Count Basie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Count Basie: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Buck Clayton: Male
Buck Clayton: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Buck Clayton: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Buck Clayton: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Buck Clayton: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Arranger
Earle Warren: Male
Earle Warren: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Earle Warren: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Earle Warren: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Earle Warren: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Jo Jones: Male
Jo Jones: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Jo Jones: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Drummer
Lester Willis Young: Male
Lester Willis Young: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Lester Willis Young: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Gelatin silver print
Image/Sheet: 26.1 x 20.1 cm (10 1/4 x 7 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
National Portrait Gallery