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Taylor to Recieve Grammy Trustees Award

Dr. Billy Taylor will receive the Recording Academy Trustees Award tomorrow as a part of this year’s Grammy Week. The award recognizes achievement in a non-performing capacity and past recipients have included George and Ira Gershwin, Orrin Keepnews and Les Paul.

“The Awards recognize music people who have made a lasting contribution to culture around the world,” said Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy, in a press release. “Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their craft have created a timeless legacy that has positively affected multiple generations…and generations to come,” he concluded.

On Feb. 22, Taylor also will be honored at a gala for the New School University’s 2005 Beacons In Jazz Awards in The Grand Ballroom at The Pierre in New York City. The Beacons In Jazz award recognizes living musicians and contributors whose work and talent have enriched the heritage of jazz.

As he previously announced in Paris, Taylor will retire from active performing after a concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, DC on March 31. The concert will be the culmination of nearly a month of lectures, a satellite broadcast and a presentation of the Kennedy Center program entitled “A Tribute to the Legacy of Dizzy Gillespie” for students. On March 30, Taylor will release Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center, a compilation CD focusing on his performances as well as his original compositions performed by others at the Kennedy Center. For Kennedy Center schedule go to www.kennedy-center.org.

The March 31 is a tribute to Taylor’s friend, trumpeter and bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie, as well as a farewell concert for Taylor. It will feature the Billy Taylor Trio, which includes bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Winard Harper, as well as Gillespie devotee trumpeter Jon Faddis.

“I am fortunate that there have been many more opportunities to work with Dr. Taylor and to learn from him,” Faddis said. “For over thirty years, I have had the joy of playing with Dr. Taylor and his trio and sharing the stage with him all over the world. Being with Dr. Taylor, whether it’s at the Kennedy Center, the National Arts Club, or one of the many classrooms in which he has shared his wisdom, is a privilege. Watching him educate young students and general audiences about jazz — well, he teaches me how to teach. Dr. Taylor’s emphasis on respect and equality, on the bandstand and off, has had a crucial and compelling influence.”

Dr. Taylor will continue as Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the Kennedy Center and as Principal Artist In Residence of the Jazz In July program at the University of Massachusetts. He will also continue offering clinics and other educational activities on the subject of jazz.

Originally Published