If you missed it, here’s a chance to watch this wonderful ceremony from November 13th inducting Billy Strayhorn, singer Melissa Manchester and songwriter Sammy Cahn into the 2021 class of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame!

Bassist and bandleader Doug Elmore leads a lineup of Louisville jazz luminaries in a tribute to master composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn. The tribute will include many of Strayhorn’s classic collaborations with Duke Ellington including “Cotton-tail,” “Take the ‘A’ Train, “Lush Life’” “U.M.M.G,” and more.  The personnel includes Gabe Evens (piano) and Michael Hyman (drums) from the University of Louisville Jazz Studies Department and David Clark (alto saxophone) from Bellarmine University. An active jazz musician, teacher, and conductor in the greater Louisville/Southern Indiana area, Doug is also currently the Music Director and Conductor for the Louisville Youth Orchestra and Orchestra Director of the Floyd Central High School Orchestra and has been an integral part of the Kentuckiana jazz scene for many years.

When: November 28th Time: 7pm Location: Mellwood Arts Center-Louisville, Kentucky Tickets: $15

For more information: Go to louisvillejazz.org

Photo picture: Bassist and bandleader Doug Elmore

The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia returns to the stage with its annual holiday tradition-The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia Holiday Celebration, December 18th at 8pm at Penn Live Arts.

The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of POPS Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford, will present Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn‘s Harlem Nutcracker. Released in 1960, Ellington and Strayhorn’s Harlem Nutcracker infused the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with vivacious, jazzy energy, featuring song names like “Peanut Brittle Brigade” (based on the “March”) and “Sugar Rum Cherry” (based on the “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy”). The suite shows off Ellington and Strayhorn’s versatility as composers and arrangers-with the pieces covering a wide range of musical sounds, emotions and locales. This is the JOP’s seventh presentation of the Harlem Nutcracker, a tradition started to honor the great jazz saxophonist, Jimmy Heath.

For details and tickets, click here: https://tickets.pennlivearts.org/0/73589.

Pianist/composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn will be honored in an upcoming online event as a 2021 inductee to the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame. The other inductees are legendary lyricist Sammy Cahn and singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester.

Premiering at 8pm November 13th on the Great American Songbook Foundation’s Facebook and YouTube channels, the 2021 Songbook Hall of Fame Virtual Induction also will include video testimonials, interviews and tribute performances by Songbook Foundation founder Michael Feinstein; Manchester; Alyce Claerbaut, niece of the late Strayhorn and president of Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc.; Galen Demus, nephew of Strayhorn and board member of Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc.; Tita Cahn, widow of Sammy Cahn; and rising NYC-based jazz singer Anaïs Reno, an alumna of the foundation’s annual Songbook Academy summer intensive for high school performers.

Besides the video induction, the foundation will unveil new opportunities at TheSongbook.org for viewers to continue celebrating and learning about the musical legacies of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Videos and interactive learning opportunities will include bassist/composer Marlon Martinez’s Strayhorn Sundays; Songbook Academy masterclass moments with Manchester; a peek at the Emmy Award won by Cahn and frequent collaborator Jimmy Van Heusen for “Love and Marriage,” courtesy of Van Heusen’s great nephew Brook Babcock; music playlists and more.

The program is free to view. For event reminders and viewing links, register at bit.ly/2021SongbookHOF.

The Songbook Hall of Fame celebrates composers, lyricists and performers who have “created the soundtrack of our lives” with their contributions to American popular music. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on factors including musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, and overall musical excellence.

Previous inductees include Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Rita Moreno.