Billy Taylor, a pianist and composer and a highly visible advocate for jazz, died Tuesday in Manhattan at the age of 89. The cause of death was heart failure.
He earned a doctorate in music education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1975.
Dr. Taylor taught jazz courses at Long Island University, the Manhattan School of Music and elsewhere. He also did TV and radio work.
He helped bring jazz to predominantly black neighborhoods with Jazzmobile, an organization he founded in 1965 that presents free outdoor concerts by famous musicians at street corners and housing projects throughout New York City.
Dr. Taylor is survived by his wife and daughter.
The dedicated musician once said, "because you make it look easy doesn’t mean you didn’t spend eight hours a day practicing the piano.”