Louis B. Taylor, Jr. was born in St. Thomas on September 12, 1949 to the late
Louis B. Taylor Sr. and Althea Taylor. His interest in music began at
the early age of 8 years, when he realized that his grandfather, the
late Ernest Spooner, was the leader of the Bamboula Fungi Band. Seeing
his grandfather making drums from goat skin and in particular, the
detailed process of preparing the skin for the drums sparked his
interest in percussions, (which piano is considered to be a percussion
instrument). His paternal grandfather, Bernard Taylor was also a
musician, who was a member of the naval band playing the clarinet under
the leadership of Alton A. Adams, Sr.
Louis started his formal training on piano at 11 years old,
with Mrs. Lyra Norman and Mrs. Adele Galibere. Throughout high school,
he studied the piano and also played in the Charlotte Amalie High
School Band (CAHS). Under the leadership of Mr. Herman Wallace, Louis
played all the percussion instruments and also played the piano with
the stage band.
In 1967, his senior year at CAHS, Louis started playing music
at the V.I. Hilton Hotel with the Cedric Swan Combo. This musical
experience gave Louis the hands-on experience of playing jazz. Upon
graduating from CAHS, Louis went to further his studies at Central
State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. While at Central State, he
played in the jazz ensemble and was a member of the concert chorale.
After two years at Central State, Louis transferred to Tennessee State
University, where he became the principal pianist for the Jazz
Ensemble. He also performed with smaller groups around the Nashville
area. In 1975, Louis received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education
from Tennessee State University.
Louis returned to the Virgin Islands in 1975 to pursue his musical
career as a Teacher at the Joseph Gomez Elementary School. After 13
years at Joseph Gomez, he went on to teach at Bertha C. Boschulte
Junior High School (BCB), and also taught music at the College of
Virgin Islands (now the University of the of the Virgin Islands) for
eight years. After six years at BCB, Louis went on to teach at the
Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, where he retired.
Louis’ vast musical experience has included playing with
world renowned musicians such as Cab Calloway, Richie Cole, Norman
Connors, Bobby Hutchinson and Gary Barth. Louis also opened for
musical giants such as Melba Moore, Ellis Marsalis, Lou Rawls, Dave
Brubeck, Isaac Hayes, David Sanborn, Joe Sample and, most recently,
On the local level, Louis proudly boasts of his appearances
with musical icons of the Virgin Islands such as Alwyn “Lad Richards”
Richards, Ruben Lamotta, Rico Harrigan, Frankie Jarvis, Reuben Blyden,
and Eddie Russell.
Throughout his musical career, Louis has influenced
generations of Virgin Islands’ youth, including Dion Parson, Ron Blake,
Reuben Rogers, Rudolph Faulkner and Rashuan Ross, all of whom have
become world renowned musicians.
Louis’ love of traditional music was taught and shared with
the community. His experience (with) folkloric music was a part of his
curriculum at every school where he taught. Louis was also the music
Director of the Folkloric Dance Company, under the direction of Mrs.
Leona Bryan and Mrs. Arona Petersen.
Louis currently performs at the prestigious fine dining
restaurant at Caneel Bay Resort. His repertoire includes all folkloric
music of the Caribbean as well as traditional music of the Virgin
Edited from source: BVI Music Fest 08