Trumpeter Byron Stripling brings Satchmo's jazz style to Purdue
Singing and playing in the legendary style of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling's talent will be showcased through concerts, informal jazz jams and school shows during a three day residency in West Lafayette , Nov. 16-18.
Stripling, a former lead trumpet player with the Count Basie Orchestra, will perform in a free public concert with the Purdue Jazz Band at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in Purdue's Loeb Playhouse to cap a string of jazz and art activities funded by a West Lafayette Arts & Culture Enhancement Grant.
Activities began Nov. 3 with the opening of "Seeing Jazz" a select show of 100 art works created by Happy Hollow Elementary students while listening to recordings by Stripling and other jazz artists. The works continue to be on display through Nov. 30. A portion of that exhibit moves to the lobby of Loeb Playhouse for one night Nov. 18 for Stripling's concert there.
Other events scheduled in Stripling's residency include an informal jazz jam at University Inn, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, which is open to all ages with no cover charge. The trumpeter will jam with the Mo Trout Quintet, and the Little Rascals 7 th Grade Jazz Band will also make a special appearance.
Stripling will present his "I Feel the Rhythm" show for Happy Hollow students at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the school gym, and will give a clinic for trumpeters on Thursday, Nov. 17 at West Lafayette High School .
A frequent soloist with the Boston Pops, Stripling is "omnipresent in our culture," says Mo Trout, director of the Purdue Jazz Band. Besides performing with the Boston Pops and soloing on several continents, the trumpeter does a lot of lot of behind-the-scenes music.
"Millions have heard Byron's trumpet and voice on television commercials, TV theme songs including "20/20," CNN, and soundtracks of favorite movies," Trout says. "He plays so many styles so well, and Byron's especially known as an entertainer as well as a performer in the Louis Armstrong style. He's incredibly engaging and inspiring to be around."
Stripling's free public concert with the Purdue Jazz Band on Nov. 18 "will be very much in the traditionalist mode of jazz," says Trout.
On three of the tunes - old favorites "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "What a Wonderful World" and the blues-oriented "I'm Tired of Pretty Women," he'll alternately sing in his deep baritone voice and solo on the trumpet.
"This concert's almost a history of the trumpet in jazz. We've got just about every style represented," says Trout. "Tiger Rag" and " St. James Infirmary" are Dixieland and "Ooo Pa Pa Da" is a bebop tune that Dizzy Gillespie made famous.
The Latin-flavored "Zamba" by Allen Vizzutti is a trumpet showcase designed for musicians with Stripling's talent, Trout says. 'Vizzutti's a trumpet virtuoso so most the things he writes, few others can play."
Student soloists will also be featured in the concert. Jazz singer Courtney Rohan, a senior from Grand Rapids , MI , will be featured in "Summertime," "Angel Eyes" and "Blue Moon."
Trumpeter Eric Couch, a senior from Lafayette and a Jefferson High School graduate, will be featured in "King Porter Stomp," a tune written by Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton and made famous by the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Alex Fenske, a senior trumpeter from Richton Park , IL , is featured with pianist Zachary Christian, a junior from Huntsville , AL , in the newest piece on the concert, John Clayton's "The Jazz Calling."
"Clayton went to Indiana University , is now in Los Angles, and is one of the best contemporary big band writers. This is very straight-ahead, reminiscent of Thad Jones's style, but with a Clayton work there's always a twist to it," says Trout.
No tickets are needed for the Stripling concert. Doors will open at 7 p.m. to allow concert-goers time to view the art work.