Count Basie Center welcomes three new community leaders to its Boards of Trustees


(RED BANK – February 15, 2023) The Count Basie Center for the Arts, the state’s leading nonprofit performing arts center, is excited to announce the appointment of Puja Choudhry of Old Bridge, Jason Jurgens of Rumson and Nancy Karpf of Fair Haven to its Board of Trustees.

“Puja, Jason and Nancy are community-minded professionals who believe in the Basie Center’s mission to ‘Inspire, Educate and Entertain’ by creating equitable and inclusive programming onsite and throughout the community,” said Adam Philipson, President / CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “They are excellent additions to our Board’s active and diverse body of leaders, dedicated to the betterment of the community through the performing arts”

For Choudhry, an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley in New York City, joining the Basie Center board is an opportunity to join others dedicated to affecting change.

“Each one of us can make a difference,” says Choudhry, “and together we make change. I am pleased to join the Count Basie Center board and look forward to playing a role in its educational, cultural and community impact.”

For Karpf, a Managing Director at Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, joining the Basie Center board completes a circle that began over 30 years ago as a performer with the Basie’s community theatre company, Phoenix Productions.

“I first stepped foot onto Basie stage as a teenager in the early 1990s, and was instantly entranced,” she says, adding that her experiences on the Basie Center stage empowered her and helped transform her life.

“When I moved back to the Red Bank area 20 years ago and started thinking about local organizations to support,” Karpf adds, “the Basie Center was at the top of my list. Joining at this particular time – given the organization’s focus on diversity, inclusion and community engagement – is an extra-special honor.”

Jurgens, a partner in the Financial Markets practice at international law firm Jones Day, is especially interested in the Basie Center’s work in education.

“The Count Basie Center is a cornerstone of the community,” says Jurgens. “Particularly impressive is the organization’s commitment to increasing educational opportunities for children, especially those who come from under-resourced communities. As someone who’s committed a significant amount of time over the years to creating positive experiences for young people, I look forward to working with the Basie Center to build on the tremendous work they’ve done already to broaden horizons and help aspiring artists achieve their full potential.”

“The timing couldn’t be better for Puja, Jason and Nancy to join our Board of Trustees,” said Board Chairperson Jeremy Grunin. “Each of these new members will contribute greatly as the Basie Center continues its evolution as an advocate, voice and agent of change for our region.”



The Count Basie Center for the Arts is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that embrace and amplify the diversity of the region.  As a nonprofit organization, the Basie is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity. The Basie Center has hosted an array of world-class artists, including Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Crosby Stills & Nash, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and Ringo Starr. Count Basie Center programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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