This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Billy Stritch.
Grammy-winning composer, arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist Billy Stritch will be performing “Billy Stritch sings the Mel Tormé Songbook” at Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center, Friday and Saturday, August 23-24 at 7 p.m.
Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scene. Although he hails from Sugar Land, Texas he has made New York his home for more than 29 years. His most recent Broadway credit was as musical supervisor and pianist for Liza Minnelli’s Tony Award winning show “Liza’s At The Palace” for which he also reconceived the vocal arrangements of the legendary Kay Thompson and The Williams Brothers.
In addition to his 22-year association with Liza, Billy also accompanies and arranges for Linda Lavin, Marilyn Maye, and Paulo Szot. On stage, he originated the role of Oscar the rehearsal pianist in the 2001 Broadway revival of “42nd Street,” performing the role for 488 performances. He also performed in and created the arrangements for “The Best Is Yet To Come – The Music of Cy Coleman” at New York’s 59E59 Theater off-Broadway in 2011.
Recordings include “Jazz Live,” “Waters of March – the Brazilian Album,” “Sunday In New York” with Christine Ebersole, “Dreaming of a Song – the Music of Hoagy Carmichael” with Klea Blackhurst, and Linda Lavin’s debut CD release, “Possibilities.”
His latest solo release is “Billy Stritch Sings Mel Tormé,” a salute he will be performing at the Smith Center.