Jeff Taylor – 2018 Inductee
Jeff Taylor has been playing music professionally for more than forty years. He first developed an interest in music on the family’s farm near Toddville, Iowa. The Taylor family then moved to Cedar Rapids and after graduating from high school, he played in bands from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area.
In 1977 Jeff moved to Boston, Massachusetts to study music at Berklee College of Music, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Composition. Around 1980 Jeff joined the band of future Grammy award winner Patty Larkin. Shortly after that Jeff got a call from Eddie Shaw (of Howlin’ Wolf’s band) who needed an organ player for his northeast tour. While with Eddie Shaw, he did a recording with the Wolf Gang that included the late-great David Maxwell on piano, and Jeff on the Hammond organ.
It was around this time that Jeff recorded with Iowa Blues Hall of Fame artist Dennis McMurrin on his album LA that included the Tower of Power Horns and Derek Dyer. In 1983 Jeff joined Capricorn Recording’s James Montgomery Blues Band touring up and down East Coast and Caribbean and was included in their recording sessions. Later, in 1986 and 1987 Jeff toured with Matt “Guitar” Murphy of the famous Blues Brothers Band, performing shows from Calgary to Key West on the road for six to ten weeks at a time.
In 1987 Jeff started the Taylor Made Band with Buck Taylor, Bird Taylor and other members of James Montgomery’s band. Taylor Made’s dance sound lead by Buck Taylor’s (Multi-time winner, “Best R&B Singer” in Ireland) energetic show performed for audiences from Maryland to Maine and received multiple awards as Boston’s Beat Magazine’s R&B Band of the Year. When Buck moved to Ireland, the band continued with Bird leading as the Taylor Brothers Band until 2012.
Although Jeff lives in Boston, he frequently returns to the Cedar Rapids area where he has performed at the North Liberty Blues and BBQ Festival, the Irish District Music and Arts Festival and the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival. Jeff Taylor and the All-Stars, made up of some of the area’s finest musicians and Iowa Blues Hall of Fame inductees, continue to play the area as schedules allow.