A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn event held in NYC’s Freeman Plaza

Friday June 21st, Make Music New York, Reservoir Media, and the Billy Strayhorn Foundation collaborated on a tribute concert event highlighting the music written and composed by jazz icon Billy Strayhorn. Jazz students from NYU and several past recipients of the Billy Strayhorn Jazz Education Scholarship Award provided performances that displayed their incredible musicianship as well as their passion and creative interpretations of Billy Strayhorns music. Despite the heat, the event went great and was enjoyed by all who attended.

First joining up with the legendary bandleader Duke Ellington in 1939, this event also celebrated the 85th anniversary of the pair’s renowned collaborative relationship. Strayhorn compositions such as “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Lush Life” have etched themselves into the very essence of jazz music legacy. Our special thanks to both Make Music New York and Reservoir Media for providing a platform to showcase this amazing young talent. Below we have listed all the wonderful student musicians from NYU and the past recipients of the Billy Strayhorn Jazz Education Scholarship Award from various institutions who performed. NYU Students: Sean Jeffers, Jax Coopersmith, David Chung and Nicolas Hernandez. Billy Strayhorn Jazz Education Scholarship Recipients and their institutions: Mariia Kovalenko (Berklee), Ray Kaneko (Temple), Elijah Thomas (Temple), Deborah Smith (Temple), Tianna Mickens (Litchfield Jazz Camp).

Now in its 18th year, Make Music New York celebrates the musician in all of us, and connects New Yorkers to their communities and with each other. It unites diverse communities and energizes the shared social spaces that make NYC a cultural capital. Held twice a year on June 21st and December 21st, it offers over 1,000 free and participatory concerts each year across all five boroughs. Go to makemusicny.org to find out more about the organization and its musical initiatives.