NEW ROCHELLE, NY --
WHAT: This Sunday, February 21, beginning at 4:00 pm, a viewing of the documentary film, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life, conversations with the director and a reception with live music will complement Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, the New Rochelle Public Library’s featured exhibit for the month of February, 2016.
WHEN: Sunday, February 21, 2016
4:00 pm: Viewing of Documentary Film, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life. The film’s director,
Robert Levi,will introduce the film, and answer questions following the viewing.
5:30 – 6:30 pm: Live Music and Exhibit Reception. Glenda Davenport, the popular jazz vocalist, and the Hiroshi Yamazaki Trio will perform a program of standards including the music of Strayhorn and Ellington.
WHERE: New Rochelle Public Library’s Ossie Davis Theater, Meeting Room and Lobby, and Library Green, between Lawton and Huguenot Streets, New Rochelle, NY, 10801.
ABOUT BILLY STRAYHORN: From the 1940s to the 1960s, Billy Strayhorn was one of the forces behind the sound of the renowned Duke Ellington Orchestra. The film tells the story of this pioneering African American composer, arranger and pianist. Strayhorn helped produce a body of work that has no rival in originality and range—from unforgettable tunes and jazz melodies to orchestral suites and soundtracks. He was the sole composer of many classic compositions, including the Ellington theme song, “Take The ‘A’ Train,” and the widely recorded “Lush Life.” Yet at the time of his death in 1967 at age 51 from esophageal cancer, most people were unfamiliar with his musical accomplishments and genius. Today, historians and scholars agree that Billy Strayhorn remains one of the most under-recognized American composers in history.
THE EXHIBIT: The original exhibit of photographs and artifacts traces the extraordinary career of Strayhorn and is based on a recently-released book of the same title, Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, written by A. Alyce Claerbaut and David Schlesinger. In addition to material taken from the book, the exhibit features some never-before-seen artifacts from Strayhorn's home, including art work and personal items. The exhibit was designed by Jesse Sanchez and curated by Leslie Demus, Strayhorn’s niece, as well as Theresa Kump Leghorn, president of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. It was made possible by the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence, the Billy Strayhorn Foundation and the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, with funding from ArtsWestchester.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Barbara Davis, NRPL Community Relations Coordinator at (914) 632-8254.