The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), is the regional, pre-professional arts training center for high school students in Louisiana. The Jazz Division is designed to create not only a proficient Jazz performer, but a well educated and literate musician. The Billy Strayhorn Foundation had the opportunity to present about the life and music of Billy Strayhorn. The presentation, titled Billy Strayhorn: The Man and his Music, was well received by the students as part of the jazz program’s master class lectures.

Special thanks to the Jazz Department Chair Michael Pellara for coordinating this event. What a great class of future professional musicians who participated!


Bassist, music director and jazz arranger, composer for the Marlonius Jazz Orchestra,  Marlon Martinez spearheads an innovative conversation he calls “Strayhorn Sundays”. Here in episode 4, Marlon breaks down the “Strayhorn Sound” with a Strayhorn arrangement  from 1946 titled “Hearsay”. Highlight, then right click the link below to check out Marlon’s in depth perspective.

Congratulations to our 2021 Billy Strayhorn Jazz Education Scholarship Award recipient from the Eastman School of Music-University of Rochester, Isaiah Keith. Here is a bio highlighting some of his musical achievements:

“Isaiah Keith is a jazz percussionist and vibraphonist from Havre de Grace, Maryland. After concluding his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware School of Music, he came to Eastman to pursue graduate studies in drum set performance under the tutelage of Professor Rich Thompson. Isaiah’s currently in the process of finishing his first year at Eastman. After completing the degree program, Isaiah plans to base himself out of Chicago and begin working in the city’s music scenes.”

Pictured with Isaiah is Professor Rich Thompson. This is the 5th year that the Billy Strayhorn Foundation has provided scholarship funds to deserving young jazz musicians at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. Along with congratulations, we wish Isaiah continued success in all his musical and academic endeavors moving forward.

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.

Browse All Billy Strayhorn Sheet Music



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.