It is with great fondness that we remember the life of Rick Taylor, trombonist and former member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who sadly passed away after suffering a heart attack on Friday 7 June 2019. In his professional career, Rick toured with the likes of George Michael, Robbie Williams, Chris Rea, Wet Wet Wet, and the Spice Girls, as well as playing with Elton John at Live Aid. He was a founding member of Scottish folk-orchestra supergroup The Unusual Suspects after becoming immersed in Scotland’s jazz and folk scenes when he moved to the Isle of Skye in 2002. He went on to set up his own record label and music school in the south of Skye, as well as being one of the key figures involved in the creation of a Skye Swing Jazz Festival.
During his time at NYJO, Rick contributed many compositions that are still performed by the band today. He is featured on many NYJO albums from the 70/80s, including NYJO Down Under and To Russia With Jazz.
Mark Armstrong recounts:
“Rick was a much-loved and respected composer, arranger and trombonist during his time with NYJO and his compositions, including “Blowing Hills” and “Three for Tay” helped define the style and identity of the band during the late 70s and early 80s. He was a busy and successful musician in both jazz and commercial worlds following his time in the band as well as a generous and inspirational educator. He will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues.”
Our deepest condolences go out to Rick’s friends and family and this difficult time. Rick was a talented musician, wonderful composer and inspirational educator. He will be deeply missed.
Rick Taylor (left), on the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s tour to Australia, 1980