: News

Jazz Legend Billy Taylor Made His Mark in D.C.

Play associated audio
Jazz pianist and composer Billy Taylor was a presence on public radio and an advisor to the Kennedy Center.
Tom Marcello
Jazz pianist and composer Billy Taylor was a presence on public radio and an advisor to the Kennedy Center.

Jazz pianist and composer Billy Taylor died of heart failure this week at age 89.

Taylor grew up in the District, and through his storied career, left his mark on public radio and the Kennedy Center.

Taylor was born in North Carolina, but attended Dunbar High School in Washington.

He then studied music at Virginia State College, graduating in 1942.

Soon after that, he headed to New York City, where he played with top jazz musicians and eventually became a jazz teacher and advocate, traveling to high schools and colleges to talk about music.

In the 1960's, Taylor hit the radio airwaves and later hosted the popular NPR program, "Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center"-a series where he introduced live performances and interviewed artists.

He also served as an advisor to the Kennedy Center.

Taylor earned a doctorate in music education from the University of Massachusetts, then went on to perform hundreds of free concerts around the world.

He also penned more than 300 compositions in his lifetime, including "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," which became an unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.
WAMU 88.5

To Replace Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrats Raking In Big Bucks

The race has opened the door to an epic primary season that had 13 Democrats formally announcing their candidacy.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.