We’re now in the homestretch for both this concert cycle and for our smashing 28th Season. And we’re ready to finish with a send-up like no other in chorus or music history, for that matter. AGMC, Jazz Orchestra Atlanta, and the National Black Arts Festival are coming together to form a collaboration worthy of history books. On August 1, composer Billy Strayhorn, the man behind the music of Duke Ellington, will be honored for who he was and for the incredible musical legacy he left behind. What better way to celebrate a black gay composer than with this collaboration?
You can read more below about our special guests John Wesley Wright and Donzaleigh Abernathy. In addition to these spectacular talents, we are proud to announce that Atlanta jazz favorite L’Tanya Moore will now be joining the lineup, showcasing two of Strayhorn’s greatest songs, “Day Dream” and the timeless “Satin Doll.”
I had the opportunity to work alongside Alan Broadbent in creating the scores for this concert when the New York and Los Angeles gay men’s choruses pooled their resources to hire this amazing jazz talent to create brand new arrangements for male voices. Even though I’ve lived with this music for several years now, I continue to maintain that these are some of the finest arrangements of these timeless tunes ever written.
Throughout this process, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Larry Strayhorn, Billy’s nephew, who is the chairman of the board for Strayhorn Songs, Inc. It’s because of their generosity that we are able to bring this great music to you. I’m also thrilled that Larry will be in town and giving a pre-concert chat prior to the concert. Stay tuned for more details!
So there’s “Satin Doll,” “Lush Life,” and “Take the A-Train,” but what else did Billy write? A song list appears at the end of this blog entry. You may not recognize all of them, but you will leave symphony hall wanting to sing all of them! We look forward to giving new life to these standards and to introducing you to the amazing legacy of one of history’s greatest: William Thomas Strayhorn.
LUSH LIFE: THE MUSIC OF BILLY STRAYHORN
I’m Checkin’ Out
Just a-Settin’ and a-Rockin’
Love Like This Can’t Last
My Flame Burns Blue
On the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Oo! You Make Me Tingle
Something to Live For
Take the A-Train