Listen to “11/16/16: Billy Stritch, Award-Winning Composer, Arranger, Vocalist, & Pianist” on Spreaker.

An award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist of extraordinary range and sophistication, BILLY STRITCH breathes new life into the Great American Songbook, all the while bringing an easy sense of humor and showmanship to his performances.

Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Billy Stritch got his start at age 12, playing piano at his neighborhood First Presbyterian Church. Word spread about the child prodigy, and the local country club hired him for a four-year weekly gig in the piano bar. The dreaded requests came in droves, prompting Billy to rush home and learn all the requisite standards, which would subsequently fill his tip bowl! Inspiration came from jazz greats like Oscar Peterson and George Shearing, but his older sister’s love for Elton John and Billy Joel opened up a new world of pop music which informs his playing to this day. After being turned on to singers like Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Murphy and Carmen McRae, Stritch started to find his own voice to use in conjunction with the piano mastery.

Billy Stritch has collaborated with a diverse group of artists including Liza Minnelli, Jim Caruso, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Feinstein, Mel Torme, Carol Channing, Natalie Cole and currently Tony Bennett.