Carole Ann Taylor

  • Miami Entertainment Months

Carole Ann Taylor

Sep 27, 2019
8:00 PM to 11:00 PM


Miami Entertainment Months

This event is taking place during Miami Entertainment Months. Explore here to learn more about this Miami Temptations Program.

Carole Ann Taylor at The Historic Hampton House.

In music, a singer's personality often forms they way they perform. At 73, jazz singer Carole Ann Taylor is known for her charming and uplifting stage presence. She’s a driving force with an easy way - reflective of jazz’s improvisatory freedom. An interpreter of other people's songs, she turns classic tunes like "You Can Have Him" by Nina Simone and "For All We Know" by Nat King Cole into poignant renditions, enriched by her own musical expression. "I am basically a singer of jazz standards," says Taylor. "I evoke another time when people sat in clubs and listened to music. I sing songs of yesterday." But the nostalgia stops there. In contrast to her role as a soul singer, Taylor is progressive in her personal experiences. The balance between conviction and experimentation in her jazz singing voice is a natural extension of her speaking voice. In her lifetime, she has more than once diverted on to improvisation. Taylor was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, started taking singing lessons as a child and listened to music constantly. Growing up, she sang in choirs in churches. Her father was a civil rights activist, social worker and a Baptist minister and her mother was a volunteer. Their fire and sense of community, Taylor notes, affected her attitude toward life. A jazz singer in the late '60s, she performed at fundraisers and political events whenever she could while working for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s Women’s Unit, where Gloria Steinem and Evelyn Cunningham were also very much responsible for showing her the importance of legacy. She moved on to become a founding member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the National Women's Political Caucus. "My mentors always told me 'You don't have the right to stay in your place; you have to make that place for somebody else,’" she recalls. “And, I do believe, with all my heart, that it is my duty to nurture other women." Taylor left that job to sing professionally, but son Jaesyn’s arrival in her life changed her trajectory, leading her to invest in a career in mediation and arbitration so she could provide for him. Then came a job in the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. as public affairs specialist and loan officer, followed by a move to Miami and a position as an assistant to former Mayor Maurice Ferré. When Bayside opened for business downtown in 1987, Taylor made the transition from public servant to entrepreneur with her first Miami To Go store, now with and a location in Little Havana and four different outposts inside the Miami International Airport. Entrepreneurship she says was her way of finding self-sufficiency. After 30 successful years in retail, she says that faith is a big component of her success as is the confidence to acknowledge her vulnerability and strength. She has been through a brain tumor, two heart attacks, and was diagnosed with emphysema four years ago. And yet, she keeps moving forward, with initiatives that include work as a board member of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Multicultural Tourism Committee Chair of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, WDNA Jazz Radio and Viernes Culturales. "It is a state of mind I carry with me," she explains. "Nothing is a stumbling block. It has never occurred to me to not do something out of fear, never feared reaching out to doing something I have never done before." Source:

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