David Basse with the late Ahmad Alaadeen
City Light Orchestra started in 1982. The group’s notoriety led them to national and international performances bringing the heritage of “Kansas City Jazz” to a generation of new listeners. City Light became a Grammy nominated recording label showcasing several world renowned artists.
David Basse has become an accomplished individual performing artist. He is known among his many fans as Kansas City’s Jazz and Blues Advocate. In addition to traditional public and private performances, his notoriety, along with his passion for the musical genre has resulted in his appearance at unique venues including high schools, colleges and Elderhostel events. He participates in several community related, and youth outreach programs each year. He is an integral part of two weekly radio shows, The Jazz Scene, on the Kansas Association of Broadcasters "Station of the Year" Kansas Public Radio and 12th Street Jump, public radio’s weekly jazz, blues,
and comedy jam available nationwide through the Public Radio Exchange.
City Light continues to grow. The creation of David’s “Kansas City, where Jazz and Blues meet™” a live musical documentary and his undying interest in the jazz-inspired poetry of Dan Jaffe has brought a publishing division to City Light. The company’s commitment and purpose is to bring the joy of live music to music-inspired theater, radio, television, recordings and publications and spread that joy to appreciative audiences everywhere.
In August of 1982, David Basse was invited to play a gig at the legendary City Light Restaurant, little did he know that this one night stand would turn into a seven year gig and change his life. On March 30th, 1984 the City Light Orchestra released "Raised Spirits", their first recording, to a packed house at Kansas City's Folly Theater. Tens of thousands of copies of this album were sold and that year Esquire Magazine named City Light Restaurant one of the top 100 clubs in the United States. Twenty-Five years later, remaining members of the original band continue to perform regularly in Kansas City. It has been said that the City Light Orchestra played music "learned at Basie's elbow and other joints," this swingin' tradition jams on. Since Alaadeen’s passing in late 2010, David Basse has created a new line up of exciting young musicians to make up his seven piece orchestra. In addition to long time pianist Joe Cartwright, the band consists of Tyrone Clark on bass, Mike Warren on drums, and a horn section of trombonist Jason Goudeau, saxophonist Steve Lambert and trumpeter Hermon Mehari.
A full account of Alaadeen’s life, and the history of City Light Orchestra is available in the new book "Dysfunctional, Life Journeys of a Second Generation Jazz Musician". His facebook page is still being maintained: http://www.facebook.com/#!/AhmadAlaadeen.
David Basse, has recorded and produced several albums and received rave reviews in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and around the world. His award winning radio show, emanating from the University of Kansas, keeps him in touch with the "Who's Who of Jazz".