Entries by Galen Demus

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is a music festival held every April in recognition of the significant contribution that jazz music has made to society. The aim of this annual event is to pay tribute to jazz for its historic and cultural significance by encouraging schools, governments and organizations to participate in various events such as free […]

David Roussève/REALITY’s Residency at North Carolina State LIVE

North Carolina State University LIVE is thrilled to have co-commissioned David Roussève/REALITY’s latest work, Halfway to Dawn, a jubilant dance-theater piece that celebrates all facets of the influential jazz composer Billy Strayhorn’s rich and complicated life. Weaving dance, video, and Strayhorn’s masterful music, the project celebrates Strayhorn while creating conversations around race, sexuality, and the danger of placing […]

Strayhorn Songs and the Strayhorn Foundation participate in the 2019 Jazz Education Network Conference

Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc. and the Billy Strayhorn Foundation participated in the 2019 Jazz Education Network conference (JEN) held this year in Reno, Nevada. The Jazz Education Network is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performances and developing audiences. The Billy Strayhorn booth provided information on the musical legacy of […]

Billy Strayhorn selected one of the 50 greatest Pittsburghers of all time

Selected by Pittsburgh Magazine, these are the people who, throughout the past 200-plus years, helped put Pittsburgh on the map. These 50 made contributions both locally and nationally to fields ranging from business and government to culture and sports –– all of which put the spotlight on Pittsburgh. Selected at #19, arranger, composer and pianist…Pittsburgh […]

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 […]