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Count Basie Band Concert to Benefit Harry’s House

The nonprofit Rona Barrett Foundation, founded by TV entertainment news pioneer Rona Barrett, will present the legendary Count Basie Orchestra in a benefit jazz concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Paula Cole will perform with the band as guest vocalist.

Proceeds from the concert will help the foundation's new Harry's House — A Home for Alzheimer's and Assisted Living at the Golden Inn & Village, scheduled to open in 2018 in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Started 17 years ago, the Rona Barrett Foundation is dedicated to providing care services and housing solutions for in-need and vulnerable senior citizens.

"The Count Basie Orchestra, directed by Scotty Barnhart, is pleased to be a part of this inaugural benefit concert event at the Lobero Theatre for the Rona Barrett Foundation," said the Count Basie Orchestra in a joint statement.

"This concert merges Rona's previous entertainment career with her current one in helping underserved senior citizens, inclusive of Alzheimer's care," the statement continued.

"The legendary Count Basie Orchestra has been entertaining audiences all over the world since 1935 and we are excited to entertain Santa Barbara jazz lovers at this historic venue while making money for a very worthwhile cause," it said.

The Count Basie Orchestra has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once; won 18 Grammy Awards; performed for royalty around the globe; appeared in several movies, TV shows and at every major festival and concert hall in the world.

Today, under Barnhart's leadership, the Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world and continuing its tradition of being "the most explosive force in jazz."

Guest vocalist, Cole is a Grammy winner who has also been nominated seven times for the same award. April 2017 marks her 20th anniversary as a jazz artist with the release of her sixth solo album, Raven.

Peter Gabriel said of her: "Paula is an original voice both in what she is saying and how she is saying it."

Collaborative artist/trumpeter, Chris Botti, said, "Her voice sounds like a soulful trumpet."

"I'm so impressed with Rona Barrett's humor, wit, and loving dedication to seniors with Alzheimer's," Cole said. "Her foundation has built the Golden Inn and Village and I couldn't be more honored to take part in this special fundraising event with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra.

Rona Barrett said, "Harry was my dad. He had Alzheimer's. I promised I would take care of him until the end. Harry was also a giver because from the time I was a little girl, he taught me the importance of when you had more than a nickel and could spare it - you give back.

"He never had a lot of money but I grew up seeing him write checks to all kinds of charities; from the March of Dimes to the American Red Cross, he was always sending money.

"This concert and Harry's House — A Home for Alzheimer's and Assisted Living at The Golden Inn & Village are symbolic of what I learned from my Dad and honors his legacy," she said.

"If my Dad were still with us today, he would be thrilled to hear the Count Basie Orchestra and would be seated up front center. And, he would want to desperately meet Paula Cole in-person; he liked talented ladies. I can't wait for the evening to begin," Barrett said.

What started as a dream 20 years ago, became a reality when Barrett had the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Golden Inn & Village (GIV) in October 2016.

Situated on 7.3 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley community, the Golden Inn & Village is the first affordable independent living campus in the area. It currently houses nearly 100 underserved senior citizens.

Under the foundation's vision of a continuum of care model, which would bring housing and healthcare under one roof, seniors living at the GIV will be able to seamlessly transition, due to health and life circumstances, to Alzheimer's or assisted-living care without having to leave GIV.

— Dick Guttman/Rona Menashe for Rona Barrett Foundation.

For more information or to buy concert tickets, visit www.lobero.org or call the box office at 963-0761.

Ticket prices are $200 for VIP pre-concert reception in the Lobero Theatre Courtyard, including grazing feast, open bar and orchestra seating; $69 for Section A; $49 for Section B.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Darlene Ramirez at [email protected] or 688-8887.

To learn more about the Rona Barrett Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.ronabarrettfoundation.org.

— Dick Guttman/Rona Menashe for Rona Barrett Foundation.


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