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©AP/ Donald Byrd
© AP/ Donald Byrd
Jazz great Donald Byrd dies at 80


Influential jazz great Donald Byrd has died, aged 80.

Bing: Videos of Donald Byrd

The news was announced by the trumpeter's nephew Alex Bugnon, who told that certain family members were trying to keep the death under "an unnecessary shroud of secrecy."

Byrd reportedly passed away on Monday, but details of his death have not been released.

The jazz man launched his career with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1950s and performed alongside the likes of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock.

His Blue Note Records album "Black Byrd" became a bestseller for the iconic company and led to the trumpeter forming a group called The Blackbyrds in the 1970s.

Byrd's work has been sampled by hip-hop artists including Public Enemy, Nas and the Pharcyde.

A statement from his nephew reads: "Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death."

Photo Gallery: More stars we've lost in 2013

Feb 8, 2013 3:13AM

Rest in peace, Mr. Byrd...your music will never rest.  Thank you.




Feb 8, 2013 12:39AM
From Ray Brown to Dizzy Gillespie and all of the other Jazz greats I have had the joy of meeting and respecting. I so duly wrote this for them.


Designed through experience and compassion,

delivered by force and drive


with love and affection.

Structured by thought and imagination

but always tempered and colored

by feelings and emotion.

It exposes the soul while

caressing the mind.


is about life

from the joy of beginning

to the celebration

of its passing.


is the soul of man

and the light

within its song.

e” 1996

Dave Smalley/D.B.S. Writes Copyright 1996/2010 All rights reserved

Feb 8, 2013 12:22AM



Donald Byrd & 125th New York City "Love has (Finally) come around" to that Music Infinity in the sky. Rest in Peace Mr. DB.

Feb 7, 2013 11:39PM
places and spaces - thanks for the great times!  RIP
Feb 7, 2013 11:37PM
As a trumpeter myself, the BlackByrd was an inspiration and idol of mine since the days of high school. His style was so unique, and his riffs were so cool, you just wanted to emulate them. He was a great trumpet legend.......RIP BlackByrd, you will be missed.
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