Willie Ruff Remembers Billy Strayhorn
Willie Ruff, a soldier at the age of 14 and a graduate of Yale at the age of 22, has crossed the paths of many of the giants in the music world, including Paul Hindemith from the classical arena and Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Lionel Hampton, and Dwike Mitchell in the jazz world. Here he speaks to the often asked question of whether Billy Strayhorn languished in the shadow of Duke Ellington. Willie calls their relationship "symbiotic." He also tells of getting to know Billy Strayhorn, and of their collaboration in bringing to life Strayhorn's final composition, a Suite for Horn and Piano.