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Billy Taylor, jazz musician and advocate, dies at 89

Taylor Billy Taylor, a jazz pianist and composer who became one of jazz's most ardent promoters through radio, television and the landmark Jazzmobile arts venture, died Tuesday night in New York of a heart attack, according to his wife, Theodora Taylor. He was 89.

Though he had a noteworthy career as a musician, Billy Taylor was probably best known as a jazz advocate.

He was the first African American to lead a television studio orchestra in the 1950s. He founded Jazzmobile in the 1960s to take free music to the urban masses. He was host of a popular jazz show on National Public Radio. And he profiled musicians for CBS' "Sunday Morning" show.

William Taylor was born July 24, 1921, in Greensville, N.C.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Billy Taylor in 2006. Credit: Evan Agostini / Getty Images

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Biily Taylor is and will always be an outstanding human being. His knowledge of music was "top shelf". You could his love of music everytime he spoke of some aspect of music. He will not only be missed but there will be a void in our culture.
RIP, Mr. Billy Taylor


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