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Bill Charlap & Gary Hobbs at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Billy Taylor

If Dr. Billy Taylor had merely played piano for the past six decades, he would have secured an honored place in the jazz history books for his skills and creativity. But Taylor has accomplished a great deal more during a distinguished career as composer, recording artist, scholar, educator, author, radio and television host and, above all, as a tireless advocate and spokesman for jazz.

Under his watch, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has become a major jazz presenter in the nation’s capital, so it was fitting that the 83-year-old Taylor chose to give his final public performance here.

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