Chris Potter

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Title: Finding Strayhorn: Exploring the Billy Strayhorn Collection at the Library of Congress

This special panel-and-performance event spotlights the personal collection of an important star in the jazz firmament, composer, arranger and pianist Billy Strayhorn. Saxophonist Chris Potter and Strayhorn scholar Walter van de Leur will join the composer’s niece, A. Alyce Claerbaut, President, Strayhorn Songs, Inc., and nephew, Gregory A. Morris, PhD, a for an introduction to a recently acquired Library of Congress jazz treasure. Now available to scholars, researchers and performers, the collection contains nearly 18,000 documents, including approximately 3,000 music manuscripts in Strayhorn’s own handwriting—lead sheets, piano-vocal scores and complete orchestrations—and a rich trove of sketch materials. A list of manuscripts includes hundreds of songs, written by Strayhorn or in collaboration with Duke Ellington, among them landmark compositions like “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” “Something to Live For,” “Rain Check” and “Chelsea Bridge.”