The season before his appointment, for example, the Center presented just four jazz concerts.
The Jazz Life of Dr. Billy Taylor
Sixteen seasons later, the annual concerts number in the hundreds. And not just ticketed events — but free programs — allowing access to hundreds of thousands to experience live jazz music and performance, at their best, both at the Center and online. You can imagine the list of performers, too. His friends and colleagues…. He opened a new Kennedy Center Jazz Club, which remains our most popular venue for jazz performance at Kennedy Center.
He initiated local — and national — educational programs — including free satellite and internet-based television broadcasts, which he often hosted — appropriately combining his skills as a performer, educator and broadcaster. With his intended effect, sixteen years later, the Festival has spawned other, similar events across the United States, greatly enhancing opportunities for women to perform — and helping to nationally raise the profile of many of the most talented artists, who just happen to be women.
He eventually became one its most active and recognized jazz hosts and performers. As a young man, I — as the front-line presenter for these concerts and radio tapings — I learned so much about jazz at the foot of the master interviewer. So, too, did the millions of listeners from around the country. You think jazz on the radio airwaves is limited, today — imagine if jazz had not had the eloquent, articulate, passionate advocate Billy Taylor on the radio all of these years!
Where would it be? A few days ago I was sharing memories with Dr. Unable to be with us, today, Ms.
A Jeru Reader
McPartland recalled meeting Dr. Taylor when he was but in his twenties, at Birdland. A decent and most likable fellow. When Dr. Taylor arrived as a young man on the scene in NY, his talent as a musician was recognized by the then, current generation of masters — who taught, counseled, and advised the young pianist about the music and the business. Inherent to the music is the tradition of passing on knowledge from master to novice, generation to generation. Dress for respect. Address the audience directly, articulately.
Respect the audience. Connect with your audience. Engage them. Live TV.
The Jazz Life of Dr. Billy Taylor
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Ndebele voandebele. Shona voashona. Soomaaliga voasomali. Brubeck became famous through his live performances and his recordings, especially the seminal Time Out album released in He was also an honored guest in the few exclusively jazz programs that aired in the s. He appeared on Jazz in and made several appearances on Jazz Casual , an occasional series that ran on the National Educational Network from Brubeck made many more TV appearances throughout the world in the s and s, many of which can be seen on YouTube.
He then served as the house pianist at the legendary club Birdland , where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker , Dizzy Gillespie , and Miles Davis. He divided his career as performer, writer, jazz advocate, and educator for the remainder of his life. He was the music director and band leader for The David Frost Show from , becoming the first African American musician to hold that position on a TV talk show.
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He also was a contributor to many jazz documentaries, notably for Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington , Next, he appeared on Jazz Party in Before his death, Dr. Billy Taylor Indiana University Press.
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Taylor had this to say about the program:. By that time, his deep interest in jazz had turned to television, and in collaboration with Leonard Feather , he came up with the idea to do a series of thirteen shows as part of a program called The Subject is Jazz.