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.  

14 year old Tianna Mickens first studied piano and ballet with American Ballet Theatre for five years. She found her love for drums in fourth grade when she joined band at school. She has been playing drums for five years. She is part of the school band and the jazz band. Tianna also performed with the New Jersey Youth Orchestra this past year. She plans on continuing with band and jazz band in High School and College.

Tianna is a straight A student, and the family attributes her academic excellence to the music in her life. She was the recipient of 3 awards at school this year. Tianna was chosen as “Student of the Season” for fall 2019. She received an Achievement Award for Performing Arts Band, and the President’s Education Award Program for Outstanding Academic Excellence.

We are proud to add Tiannna as part of the ever growing list of young musicians/scholars representing the musical legacy of Billy Strayhorn through our Jazz Education Scholarship Award.

Find out more about the great work being done at the Litchfield Jazz Camp: go to litchfieldjazzcamp.com