In 1987, keyboardist Van Taylor founded this jazz-oriented band, composed of an array of world-class musicians, Taylor Made Jazz (TMJ). They have played many times for American troops overseas and at various national and international festivals. They have travelled all around the world, including Cuba, Greece, Germany, Israel, France, and Africa. TMJ received the International Federation of Festival Organization’s Diamond Accord Award, multiple Night Life Magazine top R&B nods, and the People’s Choice Award for Jazz in 2003-5. They went the top of the MP3 Jazz charts in 2003.
TMJ is noted for their charitable and benefit work: they work with charities such as Childrens Hospital, UNCF, AIDS Research and United Way Buffalo. In 2009, they performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to benefit the Buffalo City Mission and Food Bank of WNY. July 22 was named “Taylor Made Jazz Day” in the city of Buffalo by the Common Council in 2003.
While the band member names and faces have changed frequently, the band’s goals have not. In order to foster new jazz lovers and encourage new performers, Taylor Made Jazz (TMJ) has given hundreds of school performances, where their entertaining and dynamic approach has inspired a new generation of young fans and performers.
Todays crew line up consist of vocalist: Joyce Wilson Nixon and Melissa Kate, Mr. Kenny Berry ,drummers Mike Crimes, Lemeul Bryant and Robert Garrett, Guitarist Jeff Nixon, Nelson Thomas, Bassist Richie Valentino and Jerry Sampson, Trumpeter Brian Freeman and Keyboardist Van Taylor.