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Portrait image of Billy Strayhorn by William Gottlieb
Portrait of Billy Strayhorn, credit: William Gottlieb

Join us for our Salute to Strayhorn, June 8-10, 2023

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We are delighted that our Salute to Strayhorn, a festival of events dedicated to the life and work of Billy Strayhorn, will take place in multiple venues at the Library of Congress from June 8-10. These events have been delayed for years due to forces beyond our control, but at last we will be returning to the Library to celebrate the riches of the Billy Strayhorn music manuscripts and estate papers collection held in the Music Division. We feared that there would be another delay because of the closure of the Coolidge Auditorium due to water damage, but thankfully the repairs have been completed enough for us to hold concerts in our own hall again! We are grateful to all in the Library and the Architect of the Capitol’s office who worked so swiftly to make this possible.

Additionally, we would like to thank the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family; our Salute to Strayhorn was only possible through their generous support.

Here is a schedule of events:

Thursday, June 8, 2023
Concert: Bill Charlap Trio with Jon Faddis
8pm, Coolidge Auditorium [Jefferson Building]
Preconcert Conversation, 6:30pm, Whittall Pavilion [Jefferson Building]

Friday, June 9, 2023
Film: Anatomy of a Murder
6pm, Mary Pickford Theater [Madison Building]

Saturday, June 10, 2023
Film: Paris Blues
2pm, Mary Pickford Theater [Madison Building]

Symposium: Strayhorn: Known & Unknown
4pm, LJ-119 [Jefferson Building]

Concert: Big Band Evening with Loren Schoenberg & Russell Malone
8pm, Coolidge Auditorium [Jefferson Building]

Download festival program for Salute to Strayhorn here!

The Library’s salute to Billy Strayhorn celebrates the music and legacy of an original American voice, presenting two remarkable concerts, a lecture by the composer’s biographer David Hajdu, a symposium and screenings of two landmark movies with scores representing his work in the realm of film.  Our mini-festival is a unique offering curated from the riches of the Billy Strayhorn Collection: nearly 8,000 documents, including manuscripts, sketches, photos and papers. Expert Strayhorn scholars will examine the composer’s career, from his earliest years in Pittsburgh through his 28-year collaboration with Duke Ellington.

All events are free and open to the public, but you do need to register to attend. If you discover that registrations are closed, we will admit those without a registration 5 minutes before the event starts—a staff member will give instructions. Space may be limited, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests will be able to view treasures from the collection in the Coolidge Auditorium foyer.

You can find more detailed information about each event below. Thank you for your continued support during this period of challenging logistics, and we hope that you will join us for any or all of our Salute to Strayhorn!


Photograph of the Bill Charlap Trio
Bill Charlap Trio

Thursday, June 8, 2023, 8pm
Concert: Bill Charlap Trio with Jon Faddis
8pm, Coolidge Auditorium [Jefferson Building]
Preconcert Conversation, 6:30pm, Whittall Pavilion [Jefferson Building]

Bill Charlap and his Trio appear with a terrific partner for a charming, close-focus encounter with Strayhorn’s unforgettable songs—and some scintillating piano solos.  Trumpeter Jon Faddis is an artist known for “…making the practically impossible seem effortless” (Time Out New York).  It’s a sizzling collaboration, one appropriate to honor what jazz scholar Larry Appelbaum called “the creative work of a musical architect of the highest order…one who added greatly to the brilliance and beauty of 20th-century music.”

Click here for more information and to register.

Picture of Jon Faddis
Jon Faddis, credit: John Abbot

Friday, June 9, 2023
Film: Anatomy of a Murder
6pm, Mary Pickford Theater [Madison Building]

Otto Preminger’s epic courtroom drama featuring a stellar cast led by James Stewart, Lee Remick, George C. Scott and Ben Gazarra was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The music of Strayhorn and Ellington plays an important role in the film, which was one of the first blockbusters to highlight jazz and African American composers.

Anatomy of a Murder (Carlyle Productions, 1959). Directed and produced by Otto Preminger. Screenplay by Wendell Mayes. With James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O’Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, George C. Scott, Joseph N. Welch. (161 min, black & white, 35mm, archival print from the Copyright Collection)

Presented courtesy of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC)

Click here for more information and to register.


Saturday, June 10, 2023
Film: Paris Blues
2pm, Mary Pickford Theater [Madison Building]

Paris Blues is a classic love story about American expatriate jazz musicians in Paris, with memorable performances by figures including Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier and Louis Armstrong. Billy Strayhorn’s significant contributions to Paris Blues went uncredited, with an Oscar nomination going instead to Duke Ellington for Best Music and Scoring.

Paris Blues (United Artists Corporation, 1961). Directed by Martin Ritt. Screenplay by, Jack Sher, Irene Kamp and Walter Bernstein. With Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier, Louis Armstrong, Diahann Carroll, Serge Reggiani. (98 min, black & white, 35mm, archival print from the Copyright Collection)

Presented courtesy of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC)

Click here for more information and to register.


Saturday, June 10, 2023
Symposium: Strayhorn: Known & Unknown
4pm, LJ-119 [Jefferson Building]

Join us to hear experts on Strayhorn and his legacy celebrate this important figure and his collection at the Library of Congress with a lecture and panel discussion.

Keynote Lecture: David Hajdu, author of Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
4pm, LJ-119

Panel Discussion: Strayhorn: Known and Unknown
5pm, LJ-119

Panelists:

Lisa Barg, PhD
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in Music at McGill University

A. Alyce Claerbaut
President, Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc.

Marlon Martinez
Bassist, Composer & Artistic Director of Marlonious Jazz Orchestra

Robert OʼMeally, PhD
Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

Moderator:

David Hajdu
Music Critic for The Nation,  Professor of Journalism at Columbia University

Click here for more information and to register.


Saturday, June 10, 2023
Concert: Big Band Evening with Loren Schoenberg & Russell Malone
8pm, Coolidge Auditorium [Jefferson Building]

Photos of Billy Strayhorn, Loren Schoenberg and Russell Malone
Billy Strayhorn, Loren Schoenberg and Russell Malone. Credits: William Gottlieb (Strayhorn); Loren Schoenberg (Loren Schoenberg); Carole Lorioco (Russell Malone)

Saxophonist and conductor Loren Schoenberg, Senior Scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, has delved into the Library’s archives to design a standout big band evening bringing to life both great Strayhorn classics and a few rediscovered gemsRussell Malone will share his new interpretations of Strayhorn’s music, in a very rare chance to hear electric guitar merged with the magical Strayhorn arrangements.

Click here for more information and to register.

 

Comments (2)

  1. Where can I find “Billy strayhorn Lush Life” documentary? I’ve look everywhere I could think of.

    • Greetings! Thanks for your question. The film is available in the Library’s collections for viewing on-site. You can request to see it through the Moving Image Research Center. If you do not have plans to be in Washington, D.C., you may also be able to access it through your local public library’s streaming platforms or DVD/BluRay collections, or PBS’ streaming platforms.

      Film record: https://www.loc.gov/item/jots.200027801
      Moving Image Research Center: https://www.loc.gov/rr/mopic/

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