WBGO Blog
  • Billy Lives! A 90th Birthday Celebration of Dr. Billy Taylor

    July 20, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Dr. Billy Taylor lives on in our hearts and minds at WBGO. The pianist, educator and broadcaster played a unique role in the life of the station from our first broadcast in 1979 until his death late last year. As the originator of jazz broadcasting at NPR, he was our tireless advocate and mentored many of us over the years.

    "His knowledge and gentle presentation set the tone in how jazz performance was presented," said Thurston Briscoe, WBGO's vice president of programming. "He was one of the most supportive people I ever met."

    WBGO honors Dr. Taylor on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday this Sunday, July 24, with our exclusive webcast of Billy Taylor: A Life in Jazz, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Bret Primack.

    This remarkable half-hour documentary contains rare footage of Taylor with Duke Ellington, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and Cannonball Adderley, as well as clips from his groundbreaking 1956 television series The Subject Is Jazz and testimonials from Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis and many others.

    After Sunday, the film can also be seen at Primack's YouTube channel, JazzVideoGuy, which has more than 750 jazz videos.

    Check back to wbgo.org/billytaylor every day, as we will be adding more performances, photos and interviews with Dr Taylor, drawn from the WBGO archives! Read more

  • Dr. Billy Taylor remembered on WBGO

    January 7, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Starting Sunday, WBGO will have one week of specials celebrating the life and music of Dr. Billy Taylor.  With eight special broadcasts over seven days, there are many opportunities to tune in or log on to hear the late, great Billy Taylor.

    Billy Taylor by Dalibor Plavsic
    Billy Taylor by Dalibor Plavsic

    Schedule follows:

    Sunday – Jan 9 - JazzSet features Billy Taylor - 6:00pm

    Monday – Jan 10 – Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz featuring Billy Taylor– 8:00pm

    Tuesday – Jan 11- Jazz Profiles spotlights Billy Taylor – noon - Wednesday –

    Wednesday - Jan 12 – Billy Taylor Jazz at the Kennedy Center – Joe Lovano – 9:00am

    Wednesday – Jan 12 - JazzSet features Billy Taylor - 6:30pm

    Thursday – Jan 13 – Billy Taylor Jazz at the Kennedy Center – Nancy Wilson– 2:00pm

    Friday – Jan 14 - Gary Walker with Billy Taylor at the piano – 9:00am

    Saturday – Jan 15 – JazzSet - Billy Taylor 80th Birthday Tribute Concert – 3:00pm

  • Dr. Billy Taylor on JazzSet January 9 & 12

    January 4, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    We at JazzSet mourn the loss of Dr Billy Taylor, who pioneered the relationship between jazz and NPR / public radio. From 1977-82, Taylor was the original host of NPR’s Jazz Alive! He was an original host of live New Year’s Eve broadcasts from NPR, 31 years ago. Read more