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.
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
Today is the 87th birthday of a jazz legend - Dr. Billy Taylor. Last night, on the eve of this very special day, Dr. T was one of several featured pianists at the 92nd Street Y in the Jazz in July series. He likes the name of that series because he came up with it himself when he helped to found a summer program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Just this month, Taylor quietly stepped down from his Jazz in July, and U Mass expressed gratitude for many summers on its website. Click to read the story.
Also this summer, Taylor is involved in a development right here in our town. Now we have a Brick City branch of Jazzmobile, the teaching organization he helped found in Harlem. Newark Jazzmobile is named for the late bassist Earl May, who first proposed it but did not live to see it happen. Click here for the Jazzmobile schedule. Houston Person plays tonight at Mildred Helms Park in the South Ward! Click and hear Billy Taylor play "A Night in Tunisia" on WBGO's (then) new Steinway, live on the air in the 1980s. Another Great Live Moment from WBGO.
Dr. Billy Taylor, at 86, is still a great broadcaster. The good doctor has been spreading the jazz message on multiple broadcast platforms for more than half a century. In the 1950s, he was one of the first jazz musicians to have a daily radio program. He also hosted a weekly television show, The Subject is Jazz. He was the jazz correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning. He hosted two NPR programs, Jazz Alive and Jazz at the Kennedy Center. He founded Jazzmobile. And he's had a web presence for the last seven years. Dr. Billy Taylor's website now includes many classic videos culled from an extraordinary life in jazz. Here's one of the many gems you'll discover - a performance with Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington and Willie "The Lion" Smith:
While you're here, dig this interview with Dr. Taylor and WBGO's Gary Walker.