Obsessively passionate about music enough to want to make a living at nothing else, yet not quite wanting to cash the reality check of his seeming destiny of starvation with jazz viola, Taylor, convinced that he still had so much more to offer, went back to the drawing board. He started thinking of ways to increase his audience draw. It first came in the form of an idea for a collaborative community concert series. The once again starving Taylor returned to the embrace of Austin -- this time turning to the Austin Arts Commission whose saving grant would help fund what would eventually become his 1993-1994 “Community Alive” concert series held in Austin community churches (the first being University Methodist). He also formulated a regular venue performing group called “Jazz Menagerie” where in both he performed collaborative jazz concerts with established jazz-virtuosic guest players (Including 4 other Heart Music artists: Elias Haslanger, Doug Hall, Beth Ullman and Rich Harney). One such special occasion with Jazz Menagerie included a prophetic forshadowing of today’s Strings Attached when Taylor called one of his High School buddies to come do a show with them (Ian Moore). It was a spontaneous kind of show that in some ways was eerily similar to what Strings Attached eventually evolved into. (Coincidentally, the original members of Jazz Menagerie included Steve Zirkel, Shawn Sanders and Brad Evilsizer who are current members of today’s Strings Attached).

Even with help and ingenuity, making a living required subsidizing his humble concert income with the rare session gigs, occasional weddings, teaching lessons, and his firm commitment with the Austin Lyric Opera. Pinching pennies and rubbing them together as a single father of two, by miracle, he found a way to make a living touching people’s lives with inspiring music and doing what he loved.



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