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Don Byron, pioneering jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, started his musical career in Bronx, New York. Long considered a pioneer and musical explorer of the first magnitiude, Mr Byron's music incorporates the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk, R&B, classical, and, most recently, Gosepl, where his focus of late has been on the works of composer and Gospel innovator Thomas Dorsey and the late and forever great Sister Roseeta Tharpe.
Byron has been an influential and groundbreaking musician on the New York Jazz scene for more than two decades and he is a recipient of the first-ever Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. In a career punctuated by many of the art world's and music indutry's top awards, Mr Byron's album Ivey-Divey received a Best Instrumental Solo Grammy nomination. In 2007, Byron was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Prudential Fellowship. In 2009, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Composition for his 7 Etudes for Piano. Byron received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2012, joining the First Class of Doris Duke Artists.
He first formally studied classical clarinet with Joe Allard. Later, Byron studied with George Russell in the Third Stream Department of the New England Conservatory of Music where he performed in Latin and jazz ensembles. Byron served as Artistic Director of Jazz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for three years. From 2000-2005, he was Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Symphony Space. Byron has also taught at several universities, including the University of California San Diego, the University of Nevada Reno, Harvard University, and Columbia University.
Byron will be joined by Carla Cook and the new Gospel Quintet to campus for his debut Syracuse performance.
This tour engagement of Don Byron is funded through the American Masterpieces program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Special thanks to Carrier for its Percussion Sponsorship of the Legends of Jazz Series.
Onondaga Community College
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