Fusion Pioneer Donald Byrd Death Confirmed

By Lora Neng
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
February 8, 2013

The genre-mashing musician Donald Byrd’s passing was confirmed yesterday. The jazz and rhythm-and-blues trumpeter was known for blending bebop into funk and soul, and his sound was sought out by many of Hip Hop’s popular emcees for resampling.

After days of rumors circulating about Byrd’s death, his nephew Alex Bugnon confirmed the news on Facebook: “I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family.”

Hip Hop Wired took a look at Byrd’s reach on WhoSampled.com, naming such producers as Large Professor, Main Source, and Q-Tip/A Tribe Called Quest mixing the late Byrd’s beats into “Footprints.” His infusion of jazz into R&B resulted in a slew of albums coasting towards funk, and a number of his students went on to form the widely recognized group The Blackbyrds, whose 70s hits continue to reverberate out to electronic clubs and the contemporary Hip Hop scene.

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