Billy Strayhorn

Creatively Speaking
6:30 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Have You Read Terry Teachout's Duke Ellington Biography?

DUKE, A Life of Duke Ellington, by Terry Teachout, has received a lot of praise by critics. It's now out in paperback.

Duke Ellington played piano, but it was his intertwined roles as bandleader and composer that propelled him to greatness. He wrote over 1,700 songs, as well as longer orchestral suites and film scores.  As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a recently published biography by Wall Street Journal drama critic and blogger Terry Teachout - now available in paperback - explores the man behind the music.

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Creatively Speaking
3:24 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

A Queerly Cool Jazz Festival in Philadelphia

Composer, arranger, and pianist Billy Strayhorn was an openly gay black man living in New York City in the 1930s, which took much courage. His "Lush Life" explores that experience.

The William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia first imagined the nation’s first LGBT Jazz Festival last year. And over the course of the year, the city, and the city’s jazz community - including the Philadelphia Jazz Project and Ars Nova Workshop - signed on.

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Latest From ICON Magazine
10:48 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Bob Perkins Tells The Story of Billy Strayhorn, Composer of "Take the 'A' Train"

Composer, arranger, and pianist Billy Strathorn is best known for his 30-year collaboration with Duke Ellington. His compositions include "Take the "A" Train," "Chelsea Bridge," and "Lush Life."

He stood five feet, two inches tall, and his musical colleagues dubbed him “Swee’ Pea,” after the little character in the Popeye cartoons. But Billy Strayhorn ranked with the giants that composed enduring standard popular music. He was also nobody’s cartoon character. The handle was a reverent tease, applied by Strayhorn’s musical associates in the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

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Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig
1:13 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Birthday Boys Billy Strayhorn And Johnny Mandell

Arranger, composer, and pianst Billy Strayhorn

Composer Johnny Mandel shares birthday honors with Billy Strayhorn this week. We'll hear a sampling of their songs this Sunday, November 25th at 7 pm. Billy is best known for his sophisticated works, mostly with Duke Ellington (Take the "A" Train, Lush Life, etc.) and Johnny for his movie scores (I Want To Live and Americanization Of Emily). Join us for exciting Big Band interpretations!