|Tags:||jazz piano bstrayhorn billy strayhorn composer composers|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Links:||Biography Official Homepage Wikipedia|
29 November 1915, Dayton, Ohio, USA, d. 31 May 1967, New York City, New York, USA. Encouraged to play piano from early childhood, Strayhorn studied classical music. Fellow students included trumpeter Harry Herforth, drummer Mickey Scrima and guitarist Bill Esch. Strayhorn began composing and his Concerto For Piano And Percussion was performed by himself and Scrima in 1934. Strayhorns move towards jazz was influenced by Scrima and Esch and he began writing arrangements for Buddy Malones Pittsburgh danceband. Late in 1938 he was introduced to Duke Ellington to whom he submitted arrangements, some of which were recorded in 1939. Thus began an association that largely excluded all other musical activity. After a spell in Paris, France, Strayhorn settled in New York and while he did write for and play piano with other artists, notably Lena Horne, he was usually linked with present or former Ellingtonians.