- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : PM
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 4
American musician and jazz trumpeter. First established as a hard bopper in the late ’50s-early’60s, Byrd’s striking technique and opulent tones made him stand out from his fellow jazzmen.
Byrd, aka Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture II, was born in Detroit, MI, and during the early’50s, he served in the military. During the same period, he studied music at Wayne State University, receiving his Bachelors Degree in 1954. He continued his education at the Manhattan School of Music during the mid-1950s and earned his Masters. He spent 1962-63 in Europe, studying composition. In 1976, he received his law degree, and in 1982, he earned his Doctorate from Columbia Teachers College.
During the ’50s, Byrd recorded for various labels, both as leader and sideman, and from 1958-61, he co-led a band with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. After completing his European studies, he began a parallel career as an educator, teaching at Rutgers, Howard University and the Hampton Institute, and in the late ’70s, he taught at North Carolina Central University. During the’70s, he founded the soul-funk group "Blackbyrds," but overall his music became more commercial in nature. In the ’80s-’90s, his music returned to its jazz roots, and in 1993, he recorded "Jazzmatazz" with Gang Starr Jazz Rapper "Guru."
Byrd lived in Teaneck, New Jersey, until his death on 4 February 2013 at the age of 80.