Home » Musicians » Billy Taylor

Billy Taylor

Billy Taylor is an NEA Jazz Master

Billy Taylor encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spans nearly six decades. He has also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, including “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Since the 1950s, Billy Taylor has been leading his own Trio, as well as performing with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

Dr. Taylor has not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He has also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Read more

Tags

AAJ PRO
Album Review
Book Excerpts
Album Review
Live Review
Jazz From The Vinyl Junkyard
Album Review
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Live at MCG

Cornerstone Records Inc.
2008

buy

Live at MCG

MCG Jazz
2007

buy

Taylor Made At The...

Kennedy Center Jazz Recordings
2005

buy

Warming Up!

Unknown label
2004

buy

Billy Taylor Trio...

Fantasy Jazz
2003

buy

Ten Fingers - One...

Arkadia Jazz
1999

buy

Similar

Shop Amazon

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.