The Late Donald Byrd: His Impact on American Education

TC Public Space

Photo of Donald BYRD Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013)

BY JARRITT SHEEL

Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II passed away on February 4, 2013 in Dover, Delaware where he had been a resident for decades. He was a titan in the realms of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Hip-Hop music. He was one of the only bebop musicians to successfully forge the paths of Soul & Funk music. He was a formidable arts advocate and helped develop music education curriculum for jazz studies programs at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). A legacy like Byrd’s remains a phenomenon that comes along only every couple of generations. He is what many people call a triple threat, someone whom can write (academically), perform and teach. His impact in the area of music performance was extremely deep and pervasive to say the least. His artistry, advocacy and ability to help create…

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