“Take the ‘A’ Train” remix part of best selling contemporary jazz album in the summer of 2018.
Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz, along with some of today’s best contemporary jazz artist, have come out with a stunning set of 11 timeless tunes reimagined by Koz and alto saxophonist Gerald Albright, tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot, trumpeter Rick Braun and trombonist Aubrey Logan.
Narrowed down from an original list that was in the hundreds, ‘A’-Train ended up being one of the final 11 songs. It is given a contemporary arrangement, including being merged with the beat of a song by hip hop icon Jay Z (Roc Boys). The mix of a jazz classic and a modern music hit is pulled off seamlessly.
Check out the song (and the album) on all streaming services and YouTube.

The 2018 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival held June 15th thru June 17th celebrates cultures of the world and to share a common bond for music that makes us one. This year’s lineup included jazz stalwarts Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, Kenny Garrett and treey Lynn Carrington.
Among those providing funding for the festival, Strayhorn family members Dr. Greg and Thelma Morris provided Encore Member ($1,000+) support on behalf of Billy Strayhorn and Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc.

Northrop announces its 2018-19 Dance Season featuring 10 remarkable dance companies, including David Rousseve/ Reality, the American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Northrop is a center of discovery and transformation that connects the University of Minnesota and communities beyond by celebrating innovation in arts, performance and academics.

Written, choreographed and directed by David Roussève and performed by his diverse nine-member company REALITY, Halfway to Dawn is a vibrant multimedia dance/theater work based on the life of Billy Strayhorn, collaborator and arranger for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. While composing some of the most gorgeous American music of this century, Strayhorn was one of the few jazz artists to be openly homosexual in postwar Harlem. The production is the last of the Northrop stage performances of the season on April 13th, 2019. The Northrup Center is located at 84 Church Street, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Choreographer/writer/director/filmmaker David Rousseve has written, directed and choreographed 13 full evening works for David Rousseve/REALITY.

Founded in 1988, David Rousseve/REALITY creates expressionistic dance/theatre works that combine the accessibility, grit and passion of African American traditional and pop cultures with the challenging compositional structures of avant-garde dance and theatre to explore socially-charged, immensely relevant, and often spiritual themes.

Paris, Washington, D.C. April 9, 2018 —The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock today announced the program for the 2018 edition of International Jazz Day, with events in Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation), this year’s Global Host City, and over 190 countries around the world.

 

A series of educational and outreach programs will take place in the Global Host City, where the day will culminate in an extraordinary all-star concert at the historic Mariinsky Theatre, an event which will be streamed live worldwide. Partners on the seven continents will celebrate jazz as a universal language of peace on International Jazz Day, celebrated every year on April 30th.

 

Iconic jazz pianist Herbie Hancock (USA) and renowned saxophonist Igor Butman (Russia) will serve as artistic co-directors of the all-star concert and John Beasley (USA) will serve as the evening’s musical director.

The 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month Poster is the second in a special three-year series featuring the center section of LeRoy Neiman’s Big Band, a large-scale painting that hangs on the first floor of the National Museum of American History. The JAM Posters from 2017 and 2019 feature the left and right side of the painting respectively, so that when all three are hung next to each other, the iconic painting can be recreated! Big Band is a gift of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.

This year, JAM invites all jazz fans and appreciators to look beyond the music to the dynamic ways jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musicians’ rights, and equality. The featured JAM artist this year is producer Norman Granz. Granz devoted his life to civil rights and equality – within the music industry and beyond. Through numerous record labels and his iconic touring show, Jazz at the Philharmonic, he helped propel many jazz musicians to greatness. Fittingly, all the musicians featured in this section of the JAM poster had careers that overlapped or were influenced by Norman Granz. They are: Charles Mingus, Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.

We celebrate some of the ladies of Jazz who musically touched Billy Strayhorn. We Salute:

Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Marian McPartland, Hazel Scott, Ivie Anderson, Kay Davis, Joya Sherrill and Carmen McRae, just to name a few.

The musical tells the captivating story of musical genius Billy Strayhorn as he navigates a world rife with homophobia and racism: We see him develop relationships with jazz legends Duke Ellington and Lena Horne as well as his romantic partner for several years, Aaron Bridgers. Nominated for 8 awards, WHEN JAZZ HAD THE BLUES won in 3 categories: Best Musical Direction, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Set Design. Its initial production was at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 27th annual theatre awards ceremony was held February 26th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The mission of the NAACP Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate and inspire as well as create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry.

 

SMOKETOWN;
The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance, by Mark Whitaker, profiles a number of notable black figures from Pittsburgh and explores the intersection of their lives from the 1920s to the 1950s. Each personality, in separate chapters, provides an entree into a major “Smoketown” social, political or cultural development, be it sports, entertainment, the media or the arts.  You can read an excerpt below, highlighting the relationship of Pittsburgh residents Billy Strayhorn and Lena Horne.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/mysteries-of-pittsburgh-where-lena-horne-and-billy-strayhorns-chaste-musical-love-affair-began

As the nation observes Black History Month this February, the U.S. Postal Service® is proud to present the 2018 Black Heritage® Forever® stamp commemorating the life and legacy of legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne.

The Lena Horne Forever stamp is the 41st in the Black Heritage Stamp series. It was dedicated by Deputy Postmaster General™ Ronald Stroman during a January 30th ceremony at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, on June 30, 1917, Horne was a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color and used her fame to inspire Americans as a dedicated activist for civil rights.

Lena and Billy Strayhorn were very dear friends and musical soulmates.

Released on Christmas Day 2017, Phanthom Thread, starring Daniel Day Lewis, Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville has received several Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Music Score.

Part of the music score includes Billy Strayhorn playing his composition “Day Dream”, from the 1960 album; The Peaceful Side.