The Strayhorns are an unique amalgamation of three generations of musicians coming together to recreate the golden sounds of the 1940s and 1950s jump blues bands, the 1930s Big Band era, and especially, the music of the retro-swing revival bands that emerged during the 1990s and beyond.
They are greatly inspired by the music of the Royal Crown Revue, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Duke Ellington, The Mighty Blue Kings, Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, Louis Jordan, Etta James and Bill Haley.
The Strayhorns originally formed in 2006 when guitarist Richard Holt, bassist Mark Langley, Michael Holt on saxophone and drummer David O’Sullivan (all formerly of the Rathdowne Street Big Band) joined up with tenor saxophonist/musical director Terry Noone (Grand Wazoo, Dutch Tilders Blues Band), vocalist and trumpeter Gerry Ballinger and Mark DiMarzio on piano and vocals to play some gigs at the 2006 Inverloch Jazz Festival. Later in 2007 Andrew Deacon joined on baritone saxophone.
By late 2008, the line-up had evolved to feature vocalist Baz Mitchell (Vocomotion), and father and son additions: baritone saxophonist Geoff Earle (Grand Wazoo) and Jack Earle on trumpet.