Legendary Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd Dies At 80

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The world of music has lost another giant. Jazz pianist Alex Bugnon has confirmed that his uncle Donald Byrd died on Monday at the age of 80. 

Bugnon wrote on his own Facebook page: “Donald passed away Monday in Delaware, where he lived. His funeral will be held in Detroit sometime next week. I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family. “

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Byrd was born Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II in Detroit in 1932 and began his career with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the 1950s.  His music transcended generations being sampled by artists like Black Moon, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, and Main Source. His classic “Think Twice” was covered and revered by too many to name.

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Bugnon bid his uncle farewell with this last message:

“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. That’s what I try to be, everyday!! Rest in peace, uncle!”

Listen to Donaly Byrd’s “Think Twice” below:


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