Jaki Byard

6/15/22 - 2/11/99 - Family Man
"Improvised music will never die as long as there are musicians like Jaki Byard. No greater prism than the lights from your soul. You are a rainbow. You are a sunshower on a rainy day. I miss your guiding light and wisdom. Happy 82nd birthday in the heavens."

Lovingly submitted,

Diane J. Byard - Daughter number 2

A Post Memorial for Professor James Roland (JR) Mitchell 4/13/37 - 1/25/04 - dear friend and student of Jaki's and a person who I know is with him in Heaven right now. Thank you for all your inspirations and kindness through what was a most sad time in my life.

Jaki Byard, pianist, composer, saxophonist, trombonist, bassist, guitarist, drummer, and educator, was as diverse in his styles and experience as in his instrumental abilities.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA on June 15 of 1922, he was a dominant figure in the Boston jazz scene of the 1940s. By the early 1960s, Jaki's eclectic tastes and abilities had permeated into something very distinctly, "Jaki Byard". Few pianists are comfortable in as many styles and genres as Jaki was, and even fewer can put their personality into as many styles as Jaki Byard did.

Though his life tragically ended early, his spirit and music endure!

Jaki Byard, 1960s Jaki Byard Jaki Byard on sax


In memory of Jaki Byard: family man, musician, composer, teacher, and friend.

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