Singer, songwriter and drummer Don Byron was born in 1951. The founder of the New York City-based avant-garde jazz trio ECM Records, he has released more than 50 albums as a leader, including “The Spoils” with Bill Frisell.
The “don byron obituary” is the biography of Don Byron, a singer-songwriter. His songs are about love and relationships. Don has released 7 albums in total.
Clarinetist/saxophonist Don Byron is a highly acclaimed musician who initially appeared on the New York scene in the 1980s. He is known for his diverse mix of post-bop, traditional jazz, and klezmer. Following his early collaborations with avant-gardists like David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, and Reggie Workman, he gained acclaim for his own vibrantly cross-pollinated albums like Plays the Music of Mickey Katz (in which he investigated the music of the legendary Jewish clarinetist), Bug Music (an exploration of John Kirby and Raymond Scott), and the Lester Young-influenced Ivey-Divey (in which he explored the music of the legendary Jewish clar (which featured the Grammy-nominated track “I Want to Be Happy”). While Byron is most known for reinterpreting earlier swing and klezmer genres in a contemporary setting, he also has Afro-Cuban traditions on Music for Six Musicians (2001), old-school R&B on Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker (2006), and gospel on Love, Peace and Soul (2012). Byron has scored for cinema and television in addition to releasing CDs. He’s also taught, serving as the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s director of jazz and on the faculties of Metropolitan State University of Denver, The University of Albany, and M.I.T.
Byron grew up in a working-class household with a father who worked as a mailman and played bass in calypso bands and a mother who played the piano. Asthmatic as a child, he was urged to learn to play the clarinet in order to help his breathing. Byron was introduced to jazz early on, including musicians like as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, and Artie Shaw, in addition to visits to the ballet and symphony orchestra. Growing up in a mostly Jewish area, he acquired a passion for Klezmer music, particularly the work of clarinetist and comedian Mickey Katz. He studied privately with renowned Juilliard instructor Joe Allard when he was a youngster. He continued to polish his talents after high school at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied under George Russell and was a member of Hankus Netsky’s Klezmer Conservatory Band. He moved to New York City in the early 1980s after graduating, where he worked with avant-garde artists such as Hamiet Bluiett, David Murray, and Reggie Workman. He also appeared on Shelter in 1986 as a part of Craig Harris’ ensemble.
Tuskegee Experiments, an ambitious album that showed his unique brand of jazz mixing conventional swing components with harmonically complex improvisation, marked his debut as a leader in 1992. Along with guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr., pianist Edsel Gomez, and others, he was joined by bassist Workman and pianist Joe Berkovitz, as well as guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr., pianist Edsel Gomez, and others. The next year, he won the Downbeat Critics Poll for clarinet with Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, a klezmer-influenced album. On 1995’s Music for Six Musicians, he returned to Latin rhythms with pianist Gomez, cornetist Graham Haynes, and returning guests Frisell, Plaxico, and Peterson.
Following a live album recorded at the Knitting Factory, Byron released Bug Music in 1996, a homage to composers Raymond Scott, John Kirby, and Duke Ellington’s dynamic swing jazz. He subsequently joined with Blue Note and released two critically acclaimed albums: Nu Blaxploitation in 1998 and Romance with the Unseen in 1999. In 1998, as a commission for the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, he wrote and performed a soundtrack for the seldom viewed 1927 silent film Scar of Shame.
A Fine Line: Arias and Lieder, influenced by classical music, was released in 2000 on the label, followed a year later by You Are #6: More Music for Six Musicians, a follow-up to Music for Six Musicians. Byron also began teaching in the 2000s, serving on the faculties at The University at Albany and M.I.T., as well as Metropolitan State University of Denver.
In 2004, Byron formed Ivey-Divey alongside pianist Jason Moran, drummer Jack DeJohnette, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, and bassist Plaxico, drawing influence from Lester Young’s 1946 trio recordings. The clarinetist received his first Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Solo for his performance of “I Want to Be Happy.” Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker, released two years later, was his first foray into soul music. Love, Peace, and Soul, Byron’s third album for Savoy, saw him revisiting traditional gospel songs, many of which were penned by Thomas A. Dorsey. For Random Dances and (A)Tonalities in 2018, he collaborated with pianist Aruán Ortiz.
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