Individual tickets to Lush Life go on sale Friday, Aug. 7 at 10AM.
The three-month centennial celebration of Billy Strayhorn concludes at the Auditorium Theatre with Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn. Under the musical direction of Bruce Mayhall Rastrelli, this fully staged salute to Strayhorn features Broadway star Darius de Haas and local favorite Joan Curto with Alan Broadbent on piano, the Auditorium’s “Too Hot to Handel” Orchestra, the Joel Hall Dancers and a 30-voice-all-male choir arranged by conductor Bill Chin.
In addition to the music, the Auditorium Theatre will also be naming the inaugural recipient of its “Eighth Wonder Award” during the evening. The “Eighth Wonder Award” is so named because the Auditorium Theatre was proclaimed to be “The Eighth Wonder of the World” when it opened in 1889. The award will be presented annually to a notable individual in the fields of music, theatre, dance or architecture.
Gala Benefit Celebrating The Billy Strayhorn Festival
Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5PM
Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. and Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.
Cocktails and dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago followed by a performance of Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn at the Auditorium Theatre.
Tickets: Gala tickets are $500 and tables start at $5,000
The Jazz Institute of Chicago leads a tour of Chicago’s jazz clubs with this club crawl, allowing participants to enjoy the great variety of clubs that call Chicago home. Billy Strayhorn’s image is featured on the badge that allows access to the clubs.
Chicago Jazz Orchestra at the Chicago Jazz Festival
Friday, Sept. 4 at 8:30PM
Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Jazz Institute of Chicago join the Auditorium Theatre to throw a FREE 100th birthday for Strayhorn in the heart of Chicago at Millennium Park. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra performs many of Strayhorn’s classic works.
Andy’s Jazz Club featuring the Mike Smith Quartet with Jordan Baskin on Piano
Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m., and midnight
11 E Hubbard Street
Tickets: $10 at the door
The longest-running “steady” (aka as a regular jazz engagement at the same club) in Chicago belongs to alto saxist Mike Smith celebrating his 33rd anniversary at Andy’s Jazz Club. Join the Mike Smith Quartet, and pianist Jordan Baskin, for an evening of Strayhorn at this regular Wednesday gig.
Fundraiser and Performance for Strayhorn’s Plaque on North Halsted’s Legacy Project
Saturday, Oct. 3 at 6PM
An evening of live performance, original recordings and speakers to raise funds to include Strayhorn as part of North Halsted’s Legacy Project, an outdoor public display that celebrates LGBTQ history and people. Hosted by E. Patrick Johnson, Department of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, with Kim Hunt, Johari Jabir and Cedric Brown.
The Life and Music of Billy Strayhorn
Sunday, Oct. 4 at 4PM
Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St.
A tribute to Billy Strayhorn’s life and music with live music, original recordings and a chronicle of his career and personal history. Hosted by E. Patrick Johnson, Department of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, with Kim Hunt, Johari Jabir and Cedric Brown.
Jazz’n on the Southside featuring Dee Alexander
Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7PM
Caribbean Cove, 8020 S. King Dr.
Charles Heath’s Wednesday night series Jazz’n on the South Side dedicates this evening to the music of Strayhorn with singer Dee Alexander whom the Chicago Tribune says is “the definition of great jazz singing.”
Miguel de la Cerna and Friends
Wednesday, October 28 :: Time TBD
Green Mill Chicago
Chicago pianist Miguel de la Cerna hosts and leads the line up of the hottest performers in a salute to Strayhorn’s legacy.
Performance at T & JJ’s with D’Erania
Friday, Oct. 30, time TBD
T & JJ’s Banquet Hall, 718 S. 5th Ave., Maywood
Larry Shapiro, Maywood’s senior services coordinator and an avid Jazz enthusiast, curates a night of music at the Maywood location known for its soul food and music. Featuring musician D’Erania, who ChicagoJazz.com calls “delightful” and “a distinctive voice.”
Tuesday, Nov. 3, time TBD
Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.
Joe Siegel and Wayne Siegel host a night of Strayhorn at their venue that has been presenting Jazz since 1947. Artist TBD.
This Is Love – NDIGO Night of Music with an Evening of Billy Strayhorn by Zemrah
Friday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m.
The Promontory Chicago, 5311 S Lake Park Ave West
Tickets: $20 at the door
N’Digo’s publisher Hermene Hartman creates a night of Strayhorn music featuring Chicago jazz songstress Zemrah. Blessed with a smooth and sultry sound, Zemrah has been singing, performing and perfecting her music style since her early childhood in Chicago, and has been a fixture on the city’s jazz scene ever since.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project
Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.
Lane Alexander and Chicago Human Rhythm Project mix Strayhorn’s music with dance in this special production at Jazz Showcase. Date and time TBD.
Billy Strayhorn Centenary Celebration
For the duration of his entire 100th birthday month, WDCB, the radio station of the College of DuPage, schedules Strayhorn music and hosts programs on the legendary man, his career and his influence on music and society.
Educational Panel Discussions on the State of Gay Black America
In addition, the Auditorium Theatre presents three different panels to discuss the state of Gay Black America today and in relation to Strayhorn’s experiences. Dates, times, and other locations TBD.
* More programming to be added. Performances, dates, venues and content may change.