Billy Strayhorn, along with 4 other trailblazing composers/arrangers, each having left an incredibly distinguished and absolutely unique body of work, have been named the 2021 inductees to ISJAC’s Jazz Composers/Arrangers Hall of Fame. The induction of  Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) was chosen by ISJAC for his “collaborating seamlessly with Duke Ellington for almost 3 decades, his work is not only evidence of a master arranger but a composer of numerous jazz classics and forward-looking compositions.” The others included in this stellar group are: Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, Willis “Bill” Holman, and Charles Mingus.

The Hall of Fame induction award ceremony will be on line Thursday, March 18th at 8pm. For more information on viewing the presentation, go to-

  • The stated mission of ISJAC (International Society of Jazz Composers & Arrangers) is:
    1. To unite and serve the international community of jazz arrangers and composers
    2. To advance the understanding and appreciation of jazz composition
    3. To stimulate the creation, performance, and dissemination of new works and research                                      
    4. The Society has welcomed 1,300 members from across the US as well as from 46 other countries. 

Los Angeles, CA ( January 14,2021)—Craft Recordings today announced its first lavishly packaged and produced “Small Batch” series release: John Coltrane’s Lush Life, an original 1961 Prestige monophonic release recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his Hackensack, NJ living room studio. The record consists of unissued tracks recorded in three sessions, two in 1957 and one in 1958.

While the release of previously unused material was occasioned by Coltrane’s increasing visibility and success recording for other labels, the record is without question a significant milepost in the Coltrane catalog (five stars from Downbeat), especially the title track—an extended version of Billy Strayhorn’s magnificent ballad, which Coltrane later recorded with vocals by Johnny Hartman. Coltrane is backed on the track recorded in 1958 by Red Garland, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers and Louis Hayes.

Release date is February 19th but pre-orders for the $99.99, limited to 1000 copies, numbered edition are now being taken exclusively on the Craft Records website.

If you’re looking for Billy Strayhorn sheet music, you’ve come to the right place!

Download and play premium sheet music from the jazz icon, including “Lush Life,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing.”

Buying Billy Strayhorn sheet music has never been easier – instantly download to print, or view on your computer, tablet or phone. All of the Billy Strayhorn sheet music is powered by Hal Leonard, so you can be sure it’s the highest-quality available.

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Hal Leonard Music Publishing, through its subsidiary Sheet Music Direct, now has available for purchase: Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Suite for the Duo’-French Horn and Piano, Part 1. This piece has become very popular and sought after recently in jazz and classical music circles. Thanks to Hal Leonard for publishing this Strayhorn gem. To order your digital copy, feel free to copy and paste the link below into your browser.

This year, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) is honoring their namesakes, 20th century entertainment legends, Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn for the first time, together at their annual benefit concert Suite Life set for Saturday, November 28th, at 7:00pm. The celebration also honors the November 29th birthday of Billy Strayhorn.

This virtual concert, filmed on the Kelly Strayhorn stage, and hosted by KST’s Deputy Director Orlana Darkins Drewery, will highlight music composed by Strayhorn, including big hits and rarely heard gems, along with the toe-tapping music performed and made famous by Kelly! The musical program will be arranged, directed, and performed by Poogie Bell (drums) alongside talented musicians and singers; Abby Gross (sax), Winston Bell (sax), Antonio Croes (keys), Tony DePaolis (bass), Kenny Stockard (vocalist), and Anqwenique Wingfield (vocalist).


In addition, KST is offering a rare treat! Join them at 6:00pm for a VIP livepre-show conversation on Zoom led by KDKA-TV’s Lynne Hayes Freeland, and featuring Strayhorn biographer David Hajdu, and Gene Kelly’s wife and official biographer Patricia Ward Kelly. You don’t want to miss this virtual opportunity to celebrate international acclaimed jazz musician Billy Strayhorn and international film star, dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly, together – two legendary Pittsburghers that changed the world, and are the namesake for this historic Pittsburgh theater!

To Purchase Tickets  For This Exciting Event, Go To:

On November 13th and November 14th, DanceVision2020 will present “The Music of Black Voices”, celebrating the history of black artist in music. This will be done through both music and dance. A collaboration between Ballet Chicago and Chicago’s Merit School of Music,  the performance includes these talented young artists doing a rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lotus Blossom”.

This webinar event can be viewed either night at 7pm by going to Find out more about these wonderful youth involved organizations at: and


“Day Dream” is a radio play inspired by the life of jazz artist and composer Billy Strayhorn. It contrasts Billy’s journey, looking back on his life during a radio interview, with the journey of Andre, an aspiring jazz vocalist struggling to find his voice in today’s world. Released in 8 episodes starting October 11th, “Day Dream” is set in two time periods: Billy in 1965, and Andre in Modern Day. 

“Day Dream” was written by Barry Moton, a Jazz Vocalist living in Washington, DC. His previous credits include singing as the featured vocalist at the Al Sears Jazz Festival in Macomb, IL, where he was also awarded Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, and at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival. He has shared the stage with legendary artists like Cyrus Chestnut, Vanessa Rubin, Roy Hargove, and Jessica Boykin-Settles.

For more information on tuning in, go to or visit the Facebook page for Barry Moton.

From the Archives: ‘Lush Life’, Celebrating the Life of Billy Strayhorn, was recorded in 2016 as a tribute to Billy Strayhorn’s 100 year centennial. Highlights include the musical direction for the show from pianist Dan Nimmer, contributions from renowned vocalist and  brilliant pianist himself Johnny O’Neal, swinging solos from Wynton Marsalis, and  the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the top of their musical game.

Please enjoy this once in a lifetime event celebrating the musical genius of Billy Strayhorn.


Full Concert: Lush Life: Celebrating Billy Strayhorn – JLCO with Wynton Marsalis


“My grandmother played the piano, and I used to toddle over there and pick out little things that sounded good to me.”

A detailed look at the story of the great 20th century classical and jazz pianist and composer. Best known for his long-time collaboration with Duke Ellington, Strayhorn composed Take the A Train, Lush Life, Something to Live For, and A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.


Featuring Larry Beckwith, Alexa Belgrave,
Leighton Harrell, Drew Jurecka, Marion Newman,
Patricia O’Callaghan, Alex Samaras, Suba Sankaran and more.

For the 20-21 season, Confluence Concerts look forward to this season with enthusiasm and curiosity, digging deeply into the lives and music of a broad range of composers, including Billy Strayhorn.  From jazz to traditional South Asian music, opera to pop, across centuries and cultures, sounds and ideas merge into a season of surprise, delight, and wonder. For more information, check out the website below:

On July 23rd, Jazz Education Coordinator Galen Demus gave a presentation titled Billy Strayhorn: the Man and His Music, to the virtual camp participants at the Litchfiueld Jazz Camp in Connecticut. The one hour power point presentation gave the camp participants a glimpse into the courageous life and incredible artistic output of Billy Strayhorn. Thanks to camp founder Vita Muir, music director Don Braden, and director of operations Albert Rivera for the collaboration with the Billy Strayhorn Foundation to make this presentation possible in spite of Covid-19 challenges.

In addition to the Strayhorn presentation, the Litchfield Jazz Camp hosted a virtual tribute concert that evening (a solo piano performance) dedicated to Billy Strayhorn by the super talented Mr. Orrin Evans.