CECIL TAYLOR (pianist, composer) was born March 15 , 1929 in New York City. A pioneer of free jazz along with contemporaries John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, the classically trained Taylor is known for his extremely energetic approach to the piano. After studying at the New York College of Music and the New England Conservatory and experiments with R and B and swing he formed his first group with soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy in 1956 and has performed and recorded with many prominent players in the genre in North America and Europe. Taylor’s challenging and experimental approach which incorporates poetry and dance is somewhat controversial with audiences. In 1990 he was named an NEA Jazz Master and continues to compose and perform worldwide.