Thank you for celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month with us! We hope you enjoyed the different “Mentors and Protégés” we featured throughout the month.
Mentor: Duke Ellington & Protégé: Billy Strayhorn
If you are familiar with the jazz composition, “Take the A Train,” then you know something about not only Duke Ellington, but also Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn, its composer. Strayhorn joined Ellington’s band in 1939, at the age of twenty-two. Ellington liked what he saw in Billy and took this shy, talented pianist under his wing. Neither one was sure what Strayhorn’s function in the band would be, but their musical talents had attracted each other. —The Duke Ellington Society
Indeed, the art form of jazz (nay, the entire practice music) depends on the ancient master-to-student conveyance of the disciplines, tips, tricks, theory, and attitude to truly learn the secret, coded language. (Many have been self-taught, but no artist gets very far without confronting the masters’ work in front of them.)
Throughout April, KUVO hosts are curating hourly pairs of mentors and protégés. All month! Dozens and dozens of masters and disciples! You’ll hear mild and strong influences, mimicry, and inspired invention. And some of the weekend specialty shows will share mentors and protégés from their genres, across generations and geographies.
ABOUT JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH – Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) was initiated by the Smithsonian Institution in 2001 to “recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.”
Smithsonian: Ways to Celebrate Jazz for Teachers, Students, Parents, Band Directors, Historians, Collectors, Philanthropists, Libraries, Museums, Foundations and more