BYH, have the courage to be disliked....

Mural, concert celebrate Taylor and music heritage


ECU professor Carroll Dashiell with jazz musician Billy Taylor prior to Taylor's death. Taylor was born in Greenville. Dashiell founded and directs ECU’s Billy Taylor Jazz Festival


Bobby Burns

Friday, June 14, 2019

Music lovers will dedicate a new mural in honor of jazz legend Dr. Billy Taylor tonight ahead of the Greenville Grooves Music Festival, the city’s annual celebration of African American Music Appreciation Month.

The ceremony is set for 4:45 p.m. at Whirligig Stage, 628 S. Pitt St., where Jason Coale of Whirligig has painted a larger-than-life image of the Greenville native at the piano. The mural project is a collaboration between Whirligig Stage and Visit Greenville NC.

During the dedication, East Carolina University music professor Caroll V. Dashiell will speak about Taylor’s legacy along with Coale and Andrew Schmidt, director of Visit Greenville NC.

Dashiell then will headline the sixth annual Greenville Grooves Music Festival from 6-9 p.m. at the Town Common, 101 E. First St. Dashiell and the CVD Band will keep the crowd moving with a mix of Motown and R&B hits. The city hosts the event along with the nonprofit Uptown Greenville development partnership.

Dashiell is a world-renowned musician and bandleader, a professor at East Carolina University’s School of Music, as well as the founder and director of the Dr. Billy Taylor Jazz Festival at ECU which honors his mentor’s legacy each year.

Joining Dashiell at this year’s event is The Beast, an innovative hip hop and jazz ensemble out of Durham that is known for pushing creative boundaries and dynamic collaborations, a news release from the city and Uptown Greenville said.

A spoken word act will kick off this year’s event, which also will feature a cultural marketplace and food and refreshments from local vendors.

Greenville, birthplace of Billy Taylor, is on the African American Music Trail of Eastern North Carolina and hosts this free annual music festival each year to celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month, first established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

Greenville Grooves continues to draw a diverse crowd of music lovers of all ages for an evening of jams, dancing, food and good company, organizers said.

The concert is free and the weather today is expected to be {span}sunny with a high near 78, according to the National Weather Service.