The William Way LGBT Community Center presents OutBeat: America's First Queer Jazz Festival. The four-day festival will highlight intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and jazz history and culture.
Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the OutBeat Festival continues with a musical celebration of Billy Strayhorn. "Lush Life: Philadelphia Celebrates Billy Strayhorn" is a diverse, intergenerational tribute to Dayton-born, Pittsburgh-raised pianist, composer, and arranger William Thomas Strayhorn. As Duke Ellington's creative partner for over thirty years, the openly gay and unprecedented Strayhorn created such classics and standards of the Great American Songbook as "Take The A-Train," "Satin Doll," and of course, "Lush Life." As half of one of America's most important musical collaborations, Billy Strayhorn penned some of the most enduring music of the 20th century.
This event showcases some of Philadelphia's finest musicians, vocalists, and poets. The performance is built around the arrangements and conducting talents of bassist/composer Keith DeStefano and his exceptional octet, Puzzlebox. It will present re-imaginings of Strayhorn and Ellington's work, as well as explorations of compositions by artists who they influenced, including artists like Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Gil Evans, Archie Shepp, and David Murray.