Dennis Rowland, a longtime vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra, joins the Jazz Journey for the next concert in its 2023 series of jazz music exploration, “The Count Basie Vocal Tradition.” The Prescott Jazz Summit All-Star Combo will perform with Rowland at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Elks Crystal Hall, on the third floor of the Performing Arts Center, 117 E. Gurley St.

The Count Basie Orchestra is still in existence and has been touring for 75 years. The performance will include many tunes recorded by singers with that band over the years. Rowland will be sharing some of his favorite stories from the road along with his incredible voice. He will be backed by the Prescott Jazz Summit All-Star Combo, consisting of Mike Vax on trumpet, Tony Vacca on saxophone, Howard Alden on guitar, Selwyn Reams on bass and Ken French on drums.

Having grown up in a household of jazz enthusiasts, Rowland developed an appreciation for jazz music at an early age. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 6, Rowland heard the vocals of Joe Williams of the Count Basie Orchestra, which has influenced his approach to singing ever since. In 1977, Rowland was hired by Count Basie as a vocalist on his tours, filling the same role his idols Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing had occupied for so many years.

For Rowland, it was a dream come true and he would tour with Basie for seven years. During his time with Basie, Rowland had the chance to share the stage with such icons such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. Rowland was seen recently as Jimmy Baker in the film “Real Gone Cat” by director Robert Sucato. He currently resides and performs regularly in the Phoenix area.

The Jazz Journey series brings together musicians and singers from around Arizona to present evenings that include not only music but also historical facts and anecdotes about the music, and the musicians who have performed America’s true art form for over 100 years.

Beer, wine and other beverages are available for purchase at the performance. Parties of four or six will be given their own table (as available). Larger and smaller parties may be combined or divided to accommodate all guests. Seating will be cabaret style. For special accommodations, email

For more information and to buy tickets, visit, or call 928-756-2844.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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