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Back to Basie: Jazz icon Pauly Cohen in Manalapan

Back to Basie: Jazz icon Pauly Cohen plays Manalapan 1/10 to benefit Palm Beach Intl Film Festival (@PBIFF).

Any time is a good time to bask in the brassy energy of Tamarac’s Pauly Cohen, whose trumpet fueled the songs of jazz-era luminaries from Count Basie to Frank Sinatra. The career of the South Florida bandleader, now 93, will be celebrated at a benefit for the Palm Beach International Film Festival on Sunday, when, of course, Cohen will perform with his 18-piece big band.

The concert, which will focus on music Cohen performed in his years with Count Basie’s band, is 4-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Palm Beaches Theatre (262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan).

The eternally upbeat, Brooklyn-born Cohen, who also has shared stages with greats such as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnet,  now leads what he calls “the best band in the country.” Among its members are a who’s-who of local jazz men, including Dennis Noday, Frank McCallum and Jack Siegel.

The band’s work was most recently documented in the 2014 album “Being in Charge,” a release that also includes three recordings of the Count Basie Orchestra that feature signature Cohen solos that you can expect to hear at the Palm Beaches Theatre: “What’s New,” “I Can’t Get Started” and “Poor Butterfly.”

Tickets for Sunday’s performance are $20 ($30 for VIP seats), with a portion of the proceeds supporting the not-for-profit Palm Beach International Film Festival. For more information, call the box office at 561-362-0003 or visit  

If you can't make it, Cohen and band still pack 'em in for their weekly rehearsals 1:30-3:30  p.m. Thursday at the Northwest Focal Point Senior Center (6009 NW 10th St., Margate). Admission is free.

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