Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE BILLY TAYLOR TRIO
Billy Taylor, Piano
Bobby Thomas, Percussion
Victor Gaskin, Bass
Saturday Evening, November 17, 1990, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A Secret Love........................WebsterFain
Take The "A" Train ....................Billy Straghorn
Seven Steps To Heaven.....................Miles Davis
Walking In The Light......................Billy Taylor
Your Smile .......................Theodora Castion
My Romance ........................RodgersHart
Soul Sister ..........................Billy Taylor
Lush Life.........................Billy Straghorn
The Man I Love.....................George Gershwin
Billy Taylor plays the Stcinway piano available through Hammcll Music, Inc., Livonia.
The Billy Taylor Trio appears by arrangement with Herbert Barrett Management, New York.
Recordings: ABC Paramount, Atlantic, Bell Roulett, Betco, Cadet, Capital, CBS Masterworks, Concord, Evergreen, Mercury,
Monmouth, Peters International, Prestige, Riverside, Roost, Sesac, Tower, Taylor-Made, West 54th Street.
For the convenience of our patrons, the box office in the outer lobby is open during intermission for purchase of tickets
to upcoming Musical Society concerts.
Eleventh Concert of the 112th Season Twentieth Annual Choice Series
About the Artists
Pianist, composer, recording artist, arranger and conductor, actor, au?thor, teacher and lecturer, radio and television personality .... Billy Taylor is all of these. He, more than any other single jazz artist, can be credited with bringing jazz to the forums of national radio and television.
Winner of two Peabody Awards and an Emmy Award, he is also recipient of the first Certificate of Recognition given by the United States "Congressional Art Caucus." He has been a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts; the only other jazz musicians so honored were Duke Elling?ton and David Baker. In 1987, Dr. Taylor was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with a Jazz Masters Fellowship, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst awarded him the prestigious Wilber D. Bar?rett Chair.
Dr. Taylor has been a guest artist at the White House on three different occasions and has participated in three State Department tours. In June 1987, he visited the Soviet Union as a member of the newly established International Commission of Distinguished American Composers and Educators formed by the American Council of Learned Socie?ties and the Union of Composers of the U.S.S.R. The Union of Composers of the U.S.S.R. invited Dr. Taylor to return to the Soviet Union in May 1988 to perform in the Third International Music Festival in Lenin?grad. As an international ambassador for music, Billy Taylor's accomplishments in?clude the fact that he opened the Interna?tional Arts Festival in Hungary, was delegate to the Cultural Forum in Budapest, toured seven Middle Eastern countries, and was artistic consultant to the American delega?tion to UNESCO in Mexico. He also traveled to Tokyo with New York City mayor Ed Koch as part of the "Sister City" cultural exchange. At the music conservatories of Shanghai and Beijing in China, Dr. Taylor was a guest of the Chinese Cultural Commission as lecturer and performer.
CBS-TV's program "Sunday Morning" profiled Dr. Taylor in 1981 and invited him to join the show as on-air arts correspondent. His reports for CBS have included profiles on
Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and the group "Sweet Honey In The Rock." His profile on Quincy Jones was the 1983 Emmy-winning segment in the category of "Outstanding Informational, Cultural or His?toric Programming."
On BRAVO TV, Dr. Taylor has hosted the series "Jazz Counterpoint," performing with such artists as Marian McPartland, George Shearing, Andre Watts, and Ramsey Lewis. Dr. Taylor was also featured in a series of BRAVO programs that examined the var?ious aspects of jazz. His thirteen-week radio series, "Taylor-Made Jazz" on NPR, was win?ner of the Peabody Award.
Dr. Taylor has given a series of lectures on the history of jazz to sold-out audiences at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, for the third consecutive year, was key-note speaker at the Jazz Times Convention. He was re?cently named jazz consultant for the new Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida and was host at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival.
Honored by two New York City may?ors, he first received a Certificate for Art and Culture presented by Mayor Ed Koch. Wash?ington, D.C. declared a "Billy Taylor Day," and he was presented with a key to the city.
He holds keys to the cities of Cleveland, Mobile, Galveston, and Jacksonville.
Dr. Taylor is president and founder of JAZZMOB1LE, the unique outreach organi?zation that produces concerts, clinics, and brings jazz to thousands of people in free public performances. In June 1989, Dr. Tay?lor was honored with a concert at Carnegie Hall, with presentations by the New York Department of Protocol and Culture. Later, a gala supper and dance were held at the Equitable Atrium as a benefit for JAZZMO-B1LE. Hundreds of people paid tribute to Dr. Taylor, and proclamations from President Bush, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Koch, and Manhattan borough president Dinkins were part of the ceremony.
In 1988, Dr. Taylor was in residency at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for their "Jazz in July" program. He plans to tour with the North Carolina Symphony and do a tour with pianist Ramsey Lewis. Their new recording, "We Meet Again," was re?cently released on CBS Masterworks.
In 1988, Dr. Taylor released his first solo album, appropriately entitled "Solo," and the first of a series of Trio albums titled "White Nights and Jazz in Leningrad" on the new label Taylor-Made, a sister label of Arabesque Records. The recording "Jazzmo-bile Allstars," also on the Taylor-Made label, was released at the end of July 1989.
For the Madison, Wisconsin, Civic Center's 10th anniversary, Dr. Taylor was commissioned to compose a work, which he titled Homage. The piece was performed by the Billy Taylor Trio and the Juilliard Seven with notable success. The concert has been repeated in Chicago and will be performed in a number of major cities.
Billy Taylor's book, )azz Piano: A Jazz History, published by Wm. C. Brown, served as the basis for his thirteen-week series for National Public Radio -"Taylor-Made Piano." The book, in conjunction with cas?settes of the series, was offered as a three-credit course to music majors at many colleges and universities. In addition, Taylor has writ?ten three other books on jazz and jazz piano playing, all published by Charles Hansen.
Of a less technical nature are various articles written for Ovation magazine, Groves Dictionary of Music, Downbeat, Saturday Re?view of Literature, Esquire's "World of Jazz," and a series of articles for Contemporary Key-
board. His paper, "Jazz and the Contemporary Marketplace," published by the Johnson Foundation, was delivered to a meeting of the National Jazz Service Organization. Taylor is frequently called upon to prepare program notes for special jazz events and has written the linear notes for albums by Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and McCoy Tyner, among others.
Billy Taylor--The Man
Billy Taylor was born in Green?ville, North Carolina, in 1921. His father was a dentist and his mother a schoolteacher. He first studied music with Elmira Streets in Washington, D.C. After experimenting with drums, guitar, and saxophone, Taylor pursued classical piano study. He graduated from Virginia State College as a music major, with a bachelor of science degree.
Never losing his interest in music, Billy Taylor went to New York to pursue a musical career. Upon the recommendation of Teddy Wilson, Taylor began piano studies with Richard McClanahan. In 1975, his disserta?tion on "The History and Development of Jazz Piano, A New Perspective for Music Teachers" earned him a combined masters and doctorate degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from
seven universities, including humanities de?grees from Fairfield University, Carleton Col?lege, the University of Massachusetts, and Clark College, and honorary doctorates in music from St. John's University, Berklee College of Music, and from Virginia State College, which is also his father's alma mater.
Billy Taylor has strived to maintain a balance between the performance and educa?tional aspects of his career. One measure of his success was the award of the 1988 Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endow?ment for the Arts. This is presented to jazz masters whose careers have made a significant contribution to the art form in the African-American tradition and whose influence has been felt throughout the world, especially by young artists. "It's one of the things that I'm particularly proud of," said Taylor. "It's nice to be considered by your peers to be a jazz master."
As an active participant in artist-in-res-idence programs at major universities, Taylor spent three days on the University of Michi?gan campus in 1988 as a KingChavezParks visiting scholar, giving informal lectures and piano solos for music students, faculty mem?bers, and general audiences.
Stan Kenton, shortly before his death in 1980, remarked that Billy Taylor was the most important figure in jazz today. This sentiment was reiterated by the editors of Downbeat magazine, who presented Dr. Tay?lor with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984. Taylor was cited for "striving to better the plight of jazz musicians everywhere, for helping to enlarge the audience for jazz, and to educate that audience."
Between concert dates, television and radio engagements, composing, and lectur?ing, Billy Taylor finds time to enjoy his family. He and his wife Teddi have two children; a son Duane and a daughter Kim.
The Billy Taylor Trio
Taylor has consistently selected artists of exceptional stature to accompany him, and the combi?nation of piano, bass, and drums is one that pleases the most un?initiated ear as well as seasoned jazz enthusi?asts. The Trio's comfortable blend of musicianship creates a rapport between its members nearly as infectious as the music itself. In jazz parlance, the Billy Taylor Trio
"cooks"; its compelling rhythms move even the impassive. This cohesive and dynamic unit has been entertaining at home and abroad, at the same time serving as a super sales instrument for jazz by providing a better understanding of American music.
Over the years, the Billy Taylor Trio has included the talents of Charles Mingus, Earl May, Oscar Pettiford, Jo Jones, Grady Tate, Ben Tucker, Dave Bailey, Billy Cobham, Paul West, Chris White, Larry Ridley, Joe Benjamin, George Duvivier, Clyde Lombardi, Candido, Grassella Oliph-ant, Joe Harris, Leonard Gaskin, Bob Cranshaw, Charlie Smith, Denzil Best, John Levy, Ed Thigpen, Percy Brice, Freddie Waits, Dave Williams, Buster Williams, Lisle Atkinson, Aaron Bell, Wilbur Bascomb, Harold White, Walter Perkins, Ray Mosca, Kenny Dennis, Frank Gant, Martin Rivera, Louis Hayes, Richie Pratt, Doug Watkins, Henry Grimes, Keith Copeland, and Curtis Boyd.
Tonight, Billy Taylor collaborates with Victor Gaskin and Bobby Thomas.
Victor Gaskin has spent the last twelve years as bassist for the Billy Taylor Trio. He was, at one time, the bassist for Duke Elling?ton and participated in the well-remembered 70th birthday concert album recorded in Great Britain. He also was a member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet, the notable John Mayall Blues Band, and has recently been a part-time replacement with the Count Basie Orchestra.
Bobby Thomas was the drummer in the band led by Billy Taylor during the three-and-a-half years of the David Frost Show on television. He also worked with Herbie Mann and the late guitarist Wes Montgomery, and has been the drummer with the trios of Junior Mance and Cy Coleman. In addition to working as part of the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, he has been part of the groups accom?panying such singers as Carmen McRae and Charles Aznavour. He was also the musical coordinator of "Chorus Line," the longest running Broadway musical in history.
To Better Serve Our Patrons
Visit the UMSEncore Information Table in the lobby, where volunteers and staff members are on hand to provide a myriad of details about events, restaurants, etc., and register any concerns or suggestions. Open thirty minutes before each concert and during intermission.