Billy Higgins

Billy Higgins

Legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins | Photo © Tom Copi

Billy Higgins
Aired on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” April 7, 1996
By Heidi Chang

Drummer, composer and bandleader, Billy Higgins is recuperating in a Los Angeles hospital after receiving a liver transplant. The 59-year-old Higgins is one of the most recorded jazz drummers in history. He’s played on hundreds of recordings and made six records under his own name. Despite his health, Higgins continues to nurture a new generation of jazz musicians at his cultural center in Los Angeles. Reporter Heidi Chang conducted a rare interview with the drummer for this profile.

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Update: Shortly after this interview was conducted in 1996, Higgins received a liver transplant. He died in 2001, leaving behind a rich legacy of music and jazz history. Higgins was 64. (October 11, 1936 – May 4, 2001)

Related

In 1989, master drummer Billy Higgins co-founded The World Stage with poet Kamau Daaood. The educational and performance art space continues to thrive today in Leimert Park Village, the heart of Los Angeles’ African American cultural community.

Billy Higgins photos – Drummer World

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