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A Busy Billy Taylor Turns Eighty-Nine

July 21, 2010

  To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
Press Contact: Jim Eigo, jazzpromo@earthlink.net

A Busy Billy Taylor Turns Eighty-Nine

Billy Taylor Trio@ Highlights In Jazz Grand Finale May 13, 2010 (photo Jim Eigo)

Celebrating his eighty-ninth birthday this Saturday July 24th and beginning his seventh decade as a working musician, Billy Taylor remains dedicated to the proposition that Jazz is America’s Classical Music. Dr. Taylor, who has spent his entire life as a musician, composer, writer, educator, broadcaster and Jazz advocate, remains active as he plots his course for year 90.

Recent triumphant concerts with his Trio (Chip Jackson, bass and Winard Harper, drums) at Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights in Jazz, and, Jazz at the 92nd Street Y, have served to remind audiences that Billy Taylor still possesses the musical intelligence, piano mastery and depth of spirit that have marked his playing since he first arrived in New York in 1945.

This week, Billy returns to William Patterson University for their 17th Annual Summer Jazz week with a Master Class on Thursday, July 22, and a concert featuring his Trio on July 23. For more concert info, please contact the Shea Center Box Office: 973-720-2371.

For the first time in four years, Dr. Billy Taylor and his Trio return to the Kennedy Center for the season-opening concert on October 2nd. Although Billy is the Kennedy Center’s own Artistic Director for Jazz, his appearances in Washington, D.C. are rare, so the concert is greatly anticipated.

Several other events are in preparation for Billy’s 90th year celebration. A compilation of his recordings on his own Taylor Made Jazz and Soundpost Recordings is being produced in conjunction with the release of his catalogue digitally, later this year, so that his most recent recordings will be available online at iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores. A special 90th birthday concert/tribute is also being planned for early next year.

Bret Primack has been working closely with Billy to digitize his video archives and more than 100 historical videos have been posted on Billy’s website (http://www.billytaylorjazz.com) and on Bret’s YouTube channel

Recent postings have included clips featuring Billy in piano duos with Les McCann, Buddy Greco and Blossom Dearie, excerpts from The Subject is Jazz, the groundbreaking 1958 TV program, that includes Billy accompanying Jimmy Rushing; and, “Billy Taylor Explains Bebop,” from a mid-90s presentation at the Kennedy Center, featuring Vincent Herring and the historic film clip of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

Dr. Billy Taylor brought his passion and accomplishments to Sunday Morning in 1981 and over the course of the next two decades, contributed over 250 features to the program. It wasn’t until Billy’s arrival on television every Sunday that CBS viewers regularly heard the story and saw the faces of America’s classical music, as told by Billy. His July 17, 1983 feature on Sarah Vaughan, is now being shown on his website. Upcoming features from Sunday Morning to be shown exclusively on Billy’s site include Carmen McCrae, Anita O’Day, Tito Puente and Ron Carter.

For all things Billy Taylor, please visit: http://www.billytaylorjazz.com  

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