Harlem pays tribute to beloved jazz pianist Dr. Billy Taylor

Dr. Billy Taylor was often called the world's foremost spokesman for jazz.Many gathered to hear the Marcus Mil...

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 11:38 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 11:39 PM

Dr. Billy Taylor was often called the world's foremost spokesman for jazz.

Many gathered to hear the Marcus Miller quartet play some of his most famous songs, including "I wish I knew how it would feel to be free." It achieved great popularity during the civil rights movement of the 1960s and it was written at the Riverton Square apartment complex at 138th Street and Fifth Avenue, where there's a corner named after Taylor.

During the week of what would've been Taylor's 97 birthday, friends; family, including his widow, Theodora; and jazz lovers gathered to remember his legacy.

"He personified a class act," said Glenn Hunter, the co-executive director of the Harlem Cultural Archives. "He was available for the kids, he was an educator, he was selfless. He was an ambassador for jazz, a fantastic player who made sure everyone knew about jazz."

Taylor was a fabulous jazz pianist who played with all the jazz greats, but perhaps equally important to him was his mission to bring jazz back to the people who couldn't afford to go to fancy night clubs.

He founded Jazzmobile, bringing back jazz to the streets of Harlem.

"One of his concerns was that the people who created this American art form could no longer hear the music," Kim Taylor-Thompson, his daughter, told PIX11. "They couldn't afford to go to the downtown clubs and hear Dizzy Gillespie and all the greats, he wanted to bring free music to the people of Harlem and Bed Stuy and he did that."

Performing Taylor's music is the Marcus Miller quartet, whose leader on alto saxophone loves both music and math and is deeply inspired by Taylor's legacy.

"We're dealing with a musician of the highest caliber and a scholar of the highest caliber," Miller said. "The ability to communicate that kind of intellect, intelligence, the depth of the music to a wider audience, that is his legacy."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Mild Today, Much Warmer Weather Tomorrow.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events