Performance-filled weekend opens up March at The McKnight Center in Stillwater

(STILLWATER, Okla.)-- The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University (OSU) announces performances by The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra on March 3 at 7:30 pm and Late Night with Leonard Bernstein on March 5 at 3 pm. Tickets are now on sale.

“This first weekend in March will feature back-to-back performances which celebrate the brilliance and talent of two renowned musicians: Count Basie and Leonard Bernstein,” said Mark Blakeman, the Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director of The McKnight Center. “These musicians both left behind legacies that continue to inspire audiences, generation after generation. To share both of these incredible concerts with our community in one weekend is an honor.”

On March 3, the 18-member Legendary Count Basie Orchestra will perform with guest vocalist Carmen Bradford. Pianist and bandleader William James “Count” Basie was and still is an American institution that personifies the grandeur and excellence of Jazz. In the history of Jazz music, he is the only bandleader that has the distinction of having his orchestra still performing sold out concerts all over the world, with members personally chosen by him, for more than 30 years after his passing. Now led by two-time Grammy Award-winner Scotty Barnhart, the orchestra continues the excellent history started by Basie of stomping and shouting the blues, as well as refining those musical particulars that allow for the deepest and most moving of swing.

A short two days later on March 5, the legendary Leonard Bernstein will be remembered on The McKnight Center stage. Bernstein was a well-known insomniac for whom night was a time for creativity, friendship, deep introspection, and revelry, and the iconic composer loved to work and entertain at all hours. Late Night with Leonard Bernstein – hosted by his daughter Jamie and featuring acclaimed soprano Amy Burton and noted pianists John Musto and
Michael Boriskin – is an affectionate multi-media cabaret-style portrait of the personal side of this charismatic, singularly public figure. This vibrant performance features Bernstein’s most intimate (and favorite) music, and includes works by Aaron Copland, Zez Confrey, Noël Coward, Franz Schubert, and Edvard Grieg, along with personal stories, and even audio and film clips of the Maestro himself.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact the box office at 405.744.9999.

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact Sam Powell at or 918.857.1750.