Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Kerry Strayer started playing music a bit late but by the late '90s he had made up for lost time. He began playing flute when he was ten but was not serious about music until at 16, when his high school band director persuaded him to start playing baritone sax. After hearing the Gerry Mulligan/Paul Desmond album Two of a Mind, Strayer became very interested in jazz. He went to a small private college in Nebraska, took a couple years off to earn money for graduate school and then studied at the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music. Based in Kansas City, Strayher gigged locally and went on a brief tour with the Tommy Dorsey ghost orchestra. In 1991 he formed a septet called the New Kansas City 7 and wrote all of the arrangements. Kerry Strayer, who teaches at Johnson Community College, recorded his debut as a leader in 1998, a tribute to Gerry Mulligan (Jeru Blue) on Palmetto.