About The Blackbyrds
Formed in 1973, the Blackbyrds were an R&B-influenced jazz fusion group led by trumpeter Donald Byrd. Byrd had already enjoyed a successful career as a hard bop trumpeter throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, and the Blackbyrds built on his fusion experiments in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Members were chosen from students in the music department at Howard University, where Byrd was a professor. Despite line-up changes, the Blackbyrds remained together for 10 years, releasing, among other albums, a self-titled debut (‘73), CITY LIFE (‘75), and BETTER DAYS (‘80). They are perhaps best known for their 1975 hit, “Walking in Rhythm” (which was nominated for a Grammy). Beginning in the ‘80s, the music of the Blackbyrds began to be widely sampled by DJs and hip-hop artists.