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Charlie Byrd


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September 16, 1925 - December 2, 1999


Charlie Byrd performs live in New Orleans, Louisana in 1993.


Charlie Byrd, guitar
Joe Byrd, bass
Chuck Redd, drums

Born and raised in Suffolk, Virginia in September 1925, Charlie Byrd learned to play guitar from his father when he was ten and later became inspired by the gypsy guitar of Django Reinhardt.

After servig his country in W.W. II he studied jazz composition and theory at Harnett National Music School in Manhattan before relocting to Washington D.C. in 1950 and began studying classical guitar with Sophocles Papas before coming under the instruction of Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia in 1954.

Together with frequent collaborator double bassist Keter Betts, Charlie traveled across Europe for three weeks in 1959 with the Woody Herman band as part of the State Department funded "good-will" tour joining Vince Guaraldi and Nat Adderley.

Charlie Byrd is best known for doing much to bring the sound of Brazilians music to the United States.

His 1962 album "Jazz Samba" with Stan Getz helped bring bossa nova into the North American mainstream.

During the late 1960s Byrd one again found himself on a U.S. government funded tour this time in Asia.

Moving to Annapolis, Maryland in 1973 after his return he formed a jazz guitar group featuring Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel.

Charlie Byrd continued to play with this band, based at the King of France Tavern nightclub at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis, from 1973 until his death from lung cancer on December 2, 1999.

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