Billy Taylor encompasses that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that make 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.
Now in his eighties, and officially retired from active touring and recording, he remains active with his educational activities and a full schedule of speaking engagements and appearances on radio and television.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“One of Jazz’s premiere pianists, educators and public figures.”
“Taylor’s melodic bebop provides awe and entertainment in equal measures.”
– The New Yorker
“The music and mind of Billy Taylor projects a maturity and wealth of ideas. To communicate with Taylor is to go beyond the limits that confine jazz and enter a world of history, mystery and sound.”
– Down Beat