Gifted pianist Phyllis Brown, 91


Phyllis M. Brown of Riverdale died peacefully in her home on Sunday, March 3, 2019, surrounded by family.

She was born Sept. 25, 1927, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to Rose and Alphonse Terrazzano.

She is survived by her husband, tenor saxophonist Ted Brown, of Riverdale, whom she met while the two studied jazz in New York City. Together for 65 years, they were married in 1956.

She also is survived by daughter and composer Anita Brown of Nyack, son and drummer Jeffrey Brown of Riverdale, grandson Alexander T. Brown of Riverdale, brother Anthony Terrazzano of Boca Raton, Florida, and several nieces, nephews, cousins and step-grandchildren.

She dazzled her family and friends with her extraordinary culinary skills. She was a gifted pianist who could play intricate works by ear, a passion that was central to her family life, informing the successful encouragement of her children to study music.

In her last months, she was excited that her son and husband secured a performance date together this spring in New York City, and her daughter was awarded a 2019 Composer Commission Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

She donated her body to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. A small, private memorial service will be planned in New York.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Phyllis Brown’s name to The Jazz Foundation of America at The family invites those who knew her a chance to share thoughts and sentiments at an online guestbook available from the home page at

Phyllis Brown,