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A Celebration of Billy Strayhorn: Exploring a jazz legacy in Hillsborough

NC State LIVE and the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough present a day of celebration of one of Hillsborough’s most notable residents.  Billy Strayhorn, the iconic jazz composer, spent much of his childhood in Hillsborough before going on to his influential career. NC State Live has commissioned Halfway to Dawn David Roussève’s dance performance that weaves dance and video with Strayhorn’s music.  That performance takes place on March 2nd.  But, before it goes on, Hillsborough will host A Celebration of Billy Strayhorn: Exploring a jazz legacy in Hillsborough.

Welcome by Hillsborough Mayor, Tom Stevens

11:15am on Tuesday, February 26
At Strayhorn’s Historic Marker (on South Churton Street, near West Margaret Lane)

Kick off a day of Billy Strayhorn-themed events with Hillsborough’s Mayor. Learn a little about Strayhorn’s childhood home and enjoy some jazz on the sidewalk by Hillsborough’s own Yahyah Corbett!

Lunch and Learn: Hillsborough’s Jazz Roots – A Discussion with David Roussève and Tommy DeFrantz

12pm – 1pm on Tuesday, February 26
Orange County Public Library, Meeting Room | 137 W Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, NC
FREE – Bring your lunch.

Take a lunch break with us! Billy Strayhorn spent much of his childhood in Hillsborough, was Duke Ellington’s main writing partner and is responsible for iconic jazz standards like “Take the A Train,” “Satin Doll,” “Lush Life” and more! Bring your lunch and enjoy a discussion with acclaimed choreographer David Roussève (whose newest work Halfway to Dawn explores Billy Strayhorn’s complex life and music) and Duke professor Tommy DeFrantz as they delve into Billy Strayhorn’s history and his Hillsborough roots. Enjoy this discussion just blocks away from where Strayhorn learned to play the piano. Attendees will receive 50% off tickets to Halfway to Dawn!

Artist Salon with David Roussève and Music by Yahyah Corbett

6pm-7:30pm on Tuesday, February 26

Burwell School Historic Site | 319 N Churton Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278

$20, Get Tickets Here 
Proceeds benefit the Burwell School and the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough.

Come experience an artistic evening of food, music, and Hillsborough history! Hear from acclaimed choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow David Roussève about his process creating Halfway to Dawn, a dance-theatre take on Hillsborough’s own jazz great, Billy Strayhorn. Be treated to the sounds of local jazz impresario Yahyah Corbett. And explore the fascinating Burwell School Historic Site. Wine and hors-d’oeuvres will be served. Attendees will receive 50% off tickets to Halfway to Dawn!

Earlier Event: February 16
Revolutionary War Living History Day
Later Event: March 2
Historic Hillsborough Guided Tour