David Basse

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“I love the soul that is your voice.” Maya Angelou

For the past twenty years, David Basse has been at the forefront of the music scene in the legendary jazz capitol of Kansas City. Basse carries on a tradition started half a century ago by icons Charlie Parker, Count Basie and Jay McShann. He has played his special kind of Kansas City jazz at concerts, clubs and private parties throughout the world. When the producers of A&E’s television series “City Confidential” needed to explore the Kansas City Jazz scene for a new production, they contacted and filmed David Basse. In addition to City Confidential’s exposé, Basse has appeared on Dr. Billy Taylor’s CBS Sunday Morning, Weekend: All Things Considered with Scott Simon and Barbeque America with Rick Browne on PBS.

David Basse’s City Light Orchestra has long been hailed as Kansas City’s premier swingin’ jazz ensemble. Since its inception in 1982, bandleader and songwriter, David Basse’s deep resonant voice has been a signature of the Orchestra’s sound. A Swedish critic called him “The unbelievable combination of Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks, and Al Jarreau,” but that leaves out other familiar elements in Basse’s smoky voice: “The winking gris gris of Dr. John, the ecstasy of Ray Charles. Basse adds a unique twist to his phrasing that makes him more than the sum of those influences and forbearer.” Pitch Magazine / Best Male Vocalist

In our nation’s capitol David Basse was featured at “Wolf Trap and All That Jazz,” and his band was part of the 1997 Inaugural Gala for President Bill Clinton. The title song of David’s recording “Strike When Your Iron Is Hot”, released in October 2000 was used by the Gore campaign and the Kansas City Chiefs to incite crowds. Internationally, Basse has represented Kansas City at such diverse venues as Harrods in London, Palacio De Congressi in Lugano, Switzerland and by special invitation, at the prestigious Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. He has excelled on the concert stage, performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jazz Aspen-Snowmass, The Kansas City Blues & Jazz Festival, The Verizon-Playboy Jazz Series in Pasadena, and the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

David Basse has recorded with many of the greats of jazz including, Phil Woods, Bobby Watson, Les McCann, Larry Bunker and the Grammy nominated pianist Mike Melvoin, whom David has collaborated with since 1992. David also hosts the award winning Jazz Scene on Kansas Public Radio at kpr.ku.edu.

“… a magnificent drummer and captivating singer who genuinely delights in a room full of happy people who are enjoying his danceable brand of jazz.” Zan Stewart / LA Times

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