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Billy Taylor OK, Set to Play

After suffering a mild stroke this past January and taking time off to recuperate, pianist-composer-educator-King of all jazz media Dr. Billy Taylor has booked New York’s Blue Note for six nights of performance in late June with his longstanding trio with bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Winard Harper. Trumpeter Jon Faddis is scheduled as nearly weeklong run’s special guest.

The concerts run from June 24-29, and are hailed as Taylor’s return to public performance since the stroke, but he’s been sitting in with old friends like Clark Terry and Marian McPartland in recent weeks to polish his chops. “I feel strong,” Taylor says. “There’s a big difference between practicing alone and playing before an audience. The ambience makes all the difference. It builds confidence.”

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