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Veteran jazz pianist Cecil Taylor wins Kyoto Prize

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June 21, 2013 07:54 AM EST | AP

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TOKYO — An American jazz legend Cecil Taylor was among three winners of an annual Japanese award for global achievement.

The Inamori Foundation announced Friday that this year's Kyoto Prize also went to a U.S. inventor of one of the most widely used integrated circuit memory systems and to a Japanese biologist.

An 84-year-old veteran jazz pianist from New York, Taylor opened new possibilities in jazz with his distinctive musical construction and renditions.

Robert Dennard, 80, also a New Yorker, invented basic structure for Dynamic Random Access Memory, contributing to boosting data storage capacity and cost reduction.

Masatoshi Nei, 82, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, contributed to estimating when diverging of genetic human variations occurred.

The Kyoto-based foundation was established in 1984 by Kyocera Corp. founder Kazuo Inamori.