Thursday, December 30, 2010

Billy Taylor (1921-2010)

Billy Taylor, the jazz pianist, bandleader and educator who was instrumental in raising the stature of this American art form to parity with that of European classical music, has died at the age of 89.

Born in North Carolina, reared in Washington, educated at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), Dr. Taylor performed with many of the jazz greats of the mid- and late-20th century, as well as teaching and advising and serving on cultural bodies, among them the National Endowment for the Arts and Washington's Kennedy Center. He was a longtime host of jazz programs on National Public Radio.

An obituary by Peter Keepnews in The New York Times: