We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told documentary film features the talents of international Jazz Masters George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Eckstine, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams – all Pittsburghers – and explores the social conditions and historical events that conspired to make Pittsburgh one of the leading contributors to the legacy of Jazz music in the world. The one-hour film is packed with compelling interviews, historical photographs and over 20 live performance clips of the Jazz Masters. The film is being distributed by American Public Television and can be seen on PBS stations throughout the United States beginning February 1st. Please check your local listings for show times. If you don’t see a local air date please contact your local PBS affiliate to request the film.
Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc. and the Billy Strayhorn Foundation participated in the 2018 Jazz Education Network Conference (JEN) held this year in Dallas, Texas. The 3 day conference brings together jazz educators, students and artists to attend workshops and clinics related to jazz studies. It is also filled with live performances by some of the best jazz artist and music programs across the U.S.
The Billy Strayhorn Foundation presented 2 monetary awards at the conference. A Billy Strayhorn Scholarship award was presented to the Eastman School of Music Jazz Studies Program to assist one of their dedicated students.
A second award was presented as a JEN host city award to the Jazz Studies program at Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. The award recognized their excellence in teaching future generations the musical and historical importance of jazz.
Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc. and the Billy Strayhorn Foundation also participated as a JEN conference exhibitor for the 7th straight year. As an exhibitor, Strayhorn Songs connects with attendees to promote and provide information that recognizes the important musical contributions made to jazz by the arranger, composer and pianist Billy Strayhorn.
(Pictured above: Students and staff from the Booker T. Washington Jazz Vocals Program receiving the Billy Strayhorn Jazz Education Scholarship Award).