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Donald Byrd

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Trumpeter Donald Byrd was born in Detroit in 1932, his studies at Wayne State University (1954) were interrupted by military service, during which he played in an Air Force band. He then attended the Manhattan School of Music (MA in music education). At the same time he was the favorite studio trumpeter of the bop label Presitge (1956-58), though he also recorded frequently for Riverside and Blue Note. He gave performances with George Wallington (1955), Art Blakey (1956), and along with Gigi Gryce was a member of the Jazz Lab Quintet (1957). He also performed with Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and others, before settling into a partnership with Pepper Adams (1958-61)

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News: Obituary

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, a legendary, international Blues and Gospel entertainer, songwriter, music producer, actress, music historian, community activist and motivational spokeswoman, who broke barriers for African American female Blues performers with poise, dignity and sophistication, died on March 19, 2021. In addition to her musicianship, Evans is noted as an activist for parity in music education as ...

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Article: Interview

Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist

Read "Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Franco Ambrosetti, a horn player from Switzerland, has a unique perspective on music and art. Because his vantage point is different than many musicians, having held the position as CEO of a significant company in Europe. He plays trumpet and flugelhorn with a rich tone and an approach that has matured over time, shifting from a ...

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Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

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Article: Radio

Donald Byrd & Lou Donaldson

Read "Donald Byrd & Lou Donaldson" reviewed by Joe Dimino


In honor of the new jazz book Sittin' In by Jeff Gold, we dedicate an entire hour to the music of the 1940s and 1950s. The hour begins with Charlie Parker and ends with Dizzy Gillespie. In between those titans, we profile a huge swath of jazz music and hear from the author about the book, ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Donald Byrd

Jazz Musician of the Day: Donald Byrd

All About Jazz is celebrating Donald Byrd's birthday today! Trumpeter Donald Byrd was born in Detroit in 1932, his studies at Wayne State University (1954) were interrupted by military service, during which he played in an Air Force band. He then attended the Manhattan School of Music (MA in music education). At the same time he ...

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Article: Profile

Gigi Gryce

Read "Gigi Gryce" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in 2002. Gigi Gryce was a special kind of musician—the kind often overlooked by the mainstream jazz world today, but widely respected by those familiar with his all too brief time under the jazz spotlight of the 1950s. More often rated as ...

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News: TV / Film

Barney Wilen and Donald Byrd

Barney Wilen and Donald Byrd

In the summer of 1958, the Donald Byrd Quintet arrived in Paris to play at the Au Chat Qui Peche, a Left Bank jazz club. Also that summer, French saxophonist Barney Wilen was approached by film producer Sandro Bocola, who had an idea. In December 1957, Wilen had recorded with Miles Davis on the soundtrack to ...

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Article: Book Excerpts

DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)

Read "DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)" reviewed by Noah Haidu


In chapter 2 of my book Doctone, I interviewed drummer Billy Hart and we discussed his interaction with Kenny Kirkland as he emerged in the 1970's fusion scene, his unique personality, the “Kirklandese" language and Kenny's legacy as one of the great pianists and composers in this music Noah Haidu: What were your first ...


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