SoulCulture is saddened to learn that legendary Jazz musician Donald Byrd did indeed passed away on Monday February 4th. Rumours had circulated the net for days and his Wikipedia page was even briefly updated with the date, but there was never any word from Byrd’s family or estate.
Until yesterday when the musician’s nephew Alex Bugnon confirmed the death via his Facebook page with the quote:
“I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family”.
Byrd had an influence on many hip-hop producers, with his compositions presenting a blueprint for beatsmiths including the late J Dilla, Oddisee, A Tribe Called Quest and so many more.
The cause of death is unknown at this time. Donald Byrd was 80.
Added below is the first record I remember hearing from Byrd – “Rock Creek Park” with The Blackbyrds.
Rest in peace Donald Byrd.