Entries by Galen Demus

Billy Strayhorn Archive Acquired by Library of Congress

 An original manuscript of “Take the A Train,” compositional sketches that were never completed and a revealing look at the royalty earnings of one of the 20th century’s most revered composers: These are a few of the 18,000 documents collected in Billy Strayhorn’s personal archive, which is now available to the public at the Library […]

Duke music professor Thomas Brothers examines the Ellington/Strayhorn collaboration in his new book

The fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts. The Beatles and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra stand as the two greatest examples of collaboration in music history. Ellington’s forte was not melody—his key partners were not lyricists but his fellow musicians. His strength was in arranging, in elevating the […]

Suite Life: Billy Strayhorn Birthday Bash

Suite Life is an annual celebration of the life and legacy of pianist, composer and KST namesake Billy Strayhorn. For one night only, percussionist extraordinaire and Pittsburgh jazz icon, Roger Humphries and the RH Factor take the audience on a musical exploration that invokes Pittsburgh’s rich contribution to the history of jazz. The concert is […]

‘Halfway To Dawn’ world premiere spotlights Billy Strayhorn, gay-black composer who revolutionized American jazz

Composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn lived his life as an openly gay man during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, an oppressive and homophobic era. ‘Halfway To Dawn’, a music and dance performance, recognizes the life of Strayhorn, who mostly shied away from the jazz spotlight and remains an under appreciated and acknowledged composer. ‘Halfway To Dawn’ will […]