Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2010
July 24, 1921 – December 28, 2010
Billy Taylor was a highly respected jazz pianist, composer, and educator whose career spanned the better part of seven decades. A disciple of Art Tatum, Taylor began playing professionally in 1944, first as part of Ben Webster’s group, and eventually as the house pianist of the Birdland club. During those early years, he collaborated with the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. As one of jazz’s greatest ambassadors, Taylor devoted much of his time to ensure that the music be shared with new generations of fans through his teachings as well as on television and radio. Many Americans may remember him from his 250+ interviews he conducted for CBS News Sunday Morning. He has been awarded a Grammy, an Emmy, a Peabody, an NEA Jazz Masters Award and the National Medal of Arts, to name just a few. Billy Taylor was 89 when he died of heart failure on December 28, 2010.