A colorful trumpeter and singer with a wide range both in notes and styles, Byron Stripling is a real crowd-pleaser. Born in Ohio, he attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Interlochen Arts Academy. He gained attention when, after a nationwide search, he was picked to play Louis Armstrong in the musical Satchmo. Stripling has occasionally acted in other settings through the years and he has often portrayed Louis Armstrong in tribute concerts. When Dave Brubeck revived his 1960 show The Real Ambassadors for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Stripling filled in for Satchmo. He gained important experience as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra when it was led by Thad Jones and Frank Foster.
Stripling has since performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Buck Clayton, Gerry Mulligan, J.J. Johnson, Jim Hall, Sonny Rollins, Paquito D’Rivera, Freddie Cole, Jack McDuff, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Joe Henderson Big Band and the GRP All Star Big Band. He has also been featured as a soloist with many pops orchestras, starting with the New York Pops and including the Boston Pops Orchestra. Stripling is artistic director and conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. In addition, he is busy as both a studio musician and a jazz educator. Stripling, whose warm vocal style has also been compared to Johnny Hartman, has led several CDs of his own for the Nagel-Heyer label.