Berklee honors the continuing legacy of Fred Taylor with the establishment of the Fred Taylor Endowed Scholarship Fund, spearheaded by Grace Kelly B.M. '11. The scholarship is designed to nurture gifted and deserving students who are in need of financial assistance and who are studying in the areas of music business/management as well as professional music.
Fred Taylor has been an unparalleled driving force in making Boston a great music city. For more than five decades, Taylor—Boston's ageless, irrepressible impresario—has devoted his life to nurturing gifted artists, presenting the who's who in jazz and beyond, and providing grateful audiences with extraordinary listening experiences. He has done so at his legendary clubs, Paul's Mall and the Jazz Workshop; as the artistic director of the Tanglewood Jazz Festival from 2001 to 2007; and over the course of his more than 25 years as artistic director of Scullers Jazz Club.
Taylor has presented artists such as Duke Ellington '71H, Dizzy Gillespie '89H, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Charles Mingus. Beyond jazz, he has brought Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Bruce Springsteen to the stage, as well as comedy legends like Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor, and Lily Tomlin, among many more. Taylor has also always had his eye on the future, helping to bring up stars of today including Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding B.M. '05, Grace Kelly B.M. '11, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah B.M. '05, and Chris Botti, to name a few.
In doing so, he has earned awards from the Jazz Journalists Association, JazzBoston, and from Berklee, which bestowed Taylor with the inaugural George Wein Impresario Award in 2015. For that ceremony, Wein, the renowned founder of the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival, lauded Taylor for keeping jazz alive and well in Boston, as did others such as Kelly.
"Thank you, Fred, for making it possible for great artists to be heard, and for fostering the new talent. You believe in the music and are always 100 percent there for the artist. We can’t thank you enough for that," Kelly said.
Kelly was among those who honored Taylor at a special benefit concert on September 12, 2017, at the Berklee Performance Center. The concert featured a special appearance by multi-Grammy-winning jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny '96H, along with performances by jazz luminaries such as Terri Lyne Carrington B.M. ’83 ‘03H, Kurt Elling, Danilo Pérez B.M. ‘88, John Patitucci, Catherine Russell, Jason Palmer, Kat Edmonson, Monty Alexander, and Bo Winiker.
If you would like to offer your own "thank you" in Taylor’s name, we invite you to use the form below to make a contribution to the Fred Taylor Endowed Scholarship at Berklee.