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Strayer, Kerry (1956-2013)



  • Existence: 1956 - 2013


Kerry Strayer (1956-2013) was born and raised in Fairbury, Nebraska, and attended Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1982 he moved to Kansas City to study saxophone with Professor Tim Timmons at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, earning a Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance in 1985. From that time onward, Strayer was active as a saxophonist, recording artist, bandleader, composer, arranger, adjudicator and private instructor.

In 2010, Strayer was appointed Artistic Director/Conductor of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, after serving as the group's baritone saxophonist since its inception in 2003. From 1996-2009 he was the Music Director for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony. Strayer also performed frequently with the Kansas City Symphony Pops Series. He released seven recordings including two critically acclaimed recordings with his septet: Jeru Blue, featuring Randy Brecker, and Mentor, with Gary Foster. Other releases include Play It Where It Lays, with his quartet featuring Gary Foster, and In a Mellotone, with his trio and quartet. Kerry released a recording with his 17-piece big band in 2006 of music he wrote for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, called Christmas in Kansas City: Music from the Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

Strayer died of prostate cancer in 2013 at age 56.

Information copied and paraphrased from Accessed February 16, 2017

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Kerry Strayer Collection

Identifier: MS-0311
Scope and Contents The Kerry Strayer collection was a gift to the University Libraries in October 2016 from Strayer’s wife, Gailyn. The collection is comprised of jazz arrangements for ensembles of varying size and instrumentation, with many pieces arranged by Strayer himself. There are also a handful of original compositions by Strayer, such as “Jeru Blue” and “KAS’s Blues.” In this collection, there are arrangements for the Polycurrents ensemble; jazz quartet, quintet, and sextet; Kerry Strayer and the New...
Dates: 1943 - 2012