Legendary Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd Dies at 80–Death Confirmed


Legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd’s death has been confirmed. Although he died earlier this week, February 4 at the age of 80 , family members for an unexplained reason other were trying to keep the news of his death private.

“I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family,” wrote Bugnon.

Born in Detroit December 9, 1932, Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd is best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a pop artist.

Already an accomplished trumpeter by the time he finished high school, he later went on to play in a military band during his term in the United States Air Force, and then obtained a bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. His career began when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, as a replacement for Clifford Brown, in the 1950s

Moving away from the hard-bop jazz idiom, Byrd began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd in 1973. It was highly successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. The title track climbed to No. 19 on Billboard′s R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at No. 88. The Mizell brothers’ follow-up albums for Byrd, Street Lady, Places and Spaces and Stepping into Tomorrow, were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for acid jazz artists such as Us3. Most of the material for the albums was written by Larry Mizell.

In 1973, Byrd created The Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of his best students. They scored several major hits including “Happy Music” (No. 3 R&B, No. 19 pop), “Walking In Rhythm” (No. 4 R&B, No. 6 pop) and “Rock Creek Park”.

During his tenure at North Carolina Central University during the 1980’s, he formed a group which included students from the college called, Donald Byrd & the 125th St NYC Band. He taught at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, Queens College, Oberlin College, Cornell University, North Carolina Central University and Delaware State University. In addition to his master’s from Manhattan School of Music, Byrd had two master’s degrees from Columbia University. He received a law degree in 1976, and his doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in 1982.

According to his nephew Amoeba, Byrd was a “one of a kind trumpeter,” who was known not just for his work in jazz, but also in R&B, soul and funk music, and it was his ability to transcend time and genre and remain relevant that sets his work apart from others.

Byrd lived in Teaneck, New Jersey until his death on February 4, 2013 at the age of 80 The cause of death has yet to be released.

Published in: on February 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM  Leave a Comment  

Multi-Grammy Nominee Dave Koz With Special Guest Alex Bugnon On February, 11, 2011 at NYC’s Best Buy Theater

Smooth Jazz New York is pleased to present saxophone sensation and six-time Grammy nominee Dave Koz who takes the stage along with keyboard artist Alex Bugnon for a one-time only Valentine’s show kicking off a weekend of love on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 8 pm. For lovers of contemporary jazz and romantic favorites, this special concert at the Best Buy Theater in New York City’s Times Square will be the hottest ticket in town.

Catch this great show with Dave Koz and Alex Bugnon

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 4:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Friday, December 31st A NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA takes place in the Grand Ballroom at the luxurious waterfront HYATT REGENCY Convention Center located at 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach,CA 92649.

Valet parking is available at the Convention Center.

To RSVP for this event

Published in: on December 29, 2010 at 11:14 AM  Leave a Comment  

Gospel Jazz Artist & Label Owner Terrence Richburg Celebrates The Holidays With New Track ‘In One Night’

New York, NY – Christmas time is the perfect time to sit around the tree and ring in the holiday season. Gospel Jazz artist, producer and songwriter Terrence Richburg has penned a new Christmas tune called “In One Night”.

The original track, written by the owner of the Stellar Award-nominated, RichEscape Music, LLC, is a jazzy yet classically-infused ballad about the Savior’s birth. The single is available in four versions: the original track with vocals, an instrumental version (showcasing an exceptional acoustic guitar and 7-string bass performance by Richburg) and a radio edit for each. Richburg’s first release in several years not only features the smooth styling his fans are accustomed to, but it introduces the vocal talents of Gospel Jazz singer Kathy Rowley Olatunde. The vocalist is already receiving kudos for her performance on “In One Night”.


Famed Saxophonist/Flutist James Moody Passes

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 9 — Famed jazz musician, composer and band leader James Moody died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at the San Diego Hospice, his wife said. He was 85.

Linda McGowan Moody told The San Diego Union-Tribune the saxophonist and flutist, who enjoyed a successful career that spanned six decades, died with his family by his side, following a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

“He couldn’t have gone more peacefully,” Moody told the newspaper.


Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Proudly Announces the New Recording from Bassist/Composer A LEXIS CUADRADO–NONETO IBÉRICO

Alexis Cuadrado © by Álvaro Felgueroso

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records

Proudly Announces The New Recording from

Bassist/Composer ALEXIS CUADRADO


A New Nine Movement Composition Commissioned by The Chamber Music America-Doris Duke Foundation “New Works” grant program, To Be Released on February 15, 2011

***CD Release Concerts – March 25 & 26, 2011


Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 7:16 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Available Today: Kevin Eubanks – “Zen Food,” On Mack Avenue Records

Album Serves as His Label Debut and

First Project Since Departing the Tonight  Show


Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 6:46 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Detroit International Jazz Festival Receives $100,000 from Knight Foundation to Support DJF’s Jazz Planet

DETROIT,MI-– The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded the Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) a $100,000 grant to help the festival reach a global audience through an exciting web-based initiative, DJF’s Jazz Planet.

DJF’s Jazz Planet – a streaming news magazine and music channel, featuring performances, news flashes, interviews and behind-the-scenes commentary from the 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival – was created to showcase Detroit as a significant center for jazz, provide a platform for artists to share their projects, and develop a mainstream audience for jazz and the festival through the internet. (more…)

One Of The Most Recorded Drummers Of All Time, Steve Gadd Has Worked With Everyone From Chick Corea To Paul Simon, Maynard Ferguson To Eric Clapton.

Steve Gadd’s Live at Voce (Deluxe Edition) Features the Influential Drummer Playing the Music He Loves Most
Deluxe Edition features all new tracks from Edie Brickell

LOS ANGELES,-– One of the most recorded drummers of all time, Steve Gadd has worked with everyone from Chick Corea to Paul Simon, Maynard Ferguson to Eric Clapton. When it comes to his own projects, Gadd loves to play good-time groove music that has the danceable qualities and bluesiness of the best R&B along with the adventurous solos and impeccable musicianship of jazz. (more…)

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 9:44 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Brazilian Pianist Helio Alves Releases Musica on Jazz Legacy Productions, November 9


For more on this release by Pianist Helio Alves

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM  Leave a Comment  
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