Charlie Byrd

Latest Release

Artist Playlists

About Charlie Byrd

Charlie Byrd was a boundary-busting jazz guitarist whose innovations transcended both geographical and stylistic borders. Born in Virginia in 1925, he learned guitar as a child from his father and played in an Army band in Europe during WWII (in addition to taking part in combat). After his discharge, he studied classical guitar in New York with the legendary Andrés Segovia. He developed a style that blended his classical and jazz chops, as heard on his 1957 debut LP, Jazz Recital. But as early as 1958, he was blending jazz and Brazilian music on Moody Woody with Woody Herman. In 1962, another such project, Jazz Samba, with saxophonist Stan Getz, became a crossover pop phenomenon. (Besides popularizing Brazilian sounds with jazz and pop audiences, it set the stage for Getz and João Gilberto’s milestone 1964 collaboration, Getz/Gilberto.) Byrd kept exploring for the rest of his life, dipping into jazz, classical, bossa nova, and more as his mercurial muse demanded, until his passing in 1999.

Suffolk, VA, United States
September 16, 1925
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada