After several days of rumors swirling around, the news of legendary jazz musician Donald Byrd's death was confirmed earlier today.
The confirmation came from Byrd’s nephew Alex Bugnon, who released a statement that Byrd had died last Monday, February 4th.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Donald Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II was a celebrated trumpeter, working with the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, and many others.
His past work was also a huge influence on hip-hop, with samples being used by countless artists, including fellow Detroit legend J Dilla.
The 80-year-old Byrd was also a respected teacher, lecturing at well-known universities such as Rutgers, New York University, Howard, and Cornell, among others. He was also known as one of the industry’s smartest musicians, earning three separate master's degrees, a law degree, and a doctorate from Columbia University Teacher’s College.
Bugnon finished his statement with a delightful sendoff to his uncle, saying, “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!”