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Long Bio

The Eric Byrd Trio’s mission is to play splendidly within the broad & rich jazz tradition, taking a rigorous, modern approach to standards and original compositions.  Though a work in progress, they’ve certainly achieved that goal through their series of studio and live recordings. These true ambassadors of jazz have performed internationally for well over a decade… and counting, exciting audiences across the globe.  They are former Kennedy Center/U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassadors.  That prestigious designation provided the EBT with opportunities to tour their brand of 21st Century Swing to parts of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Eastern & Western Europe, and the Middle East, including such major events as the historic Montreux Jazz Festival.

Cited by URBANITE Magazine as one of 10 “Movers and Shakers” in the Baltimore area, pianist/vocalist Eric Byrd, primary composer of EBT, has played professionally for over 30 years.  Along with his root principles of swing and be-bop, gospel and the blues are essential core elements of Byrd’s expansive performance style.  Byrd has performed with such prominent artists as Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Byrd, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Tim Green, Warren Wolf, Jeff Majors, and Yolanda Adams, just to name a sampling of his affiliations.  In addition to his own recording efforts as a leader, Byrd has guested on over a dozen CD’s.  As an educator Byrd formerly was a Music Lecturer at his alma mater, McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), where he completed his undergraduate degree.  He achieved his Masters in Music in 2001 from Morgan State University.

Bassist Bhagwan Khalsa is a first-call acoustic bassist in the Washington, DC area.  The list of musicians he has performed with and enhanced is impressive; a sampling that includes Sonny Fortune, Eric Alexander, Gary Thomas, Cecil Payne, David “Fathead” Newman, and Kenny Drew, Jr.  Upon completing his studies at the prestigious Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, CA, Khalsa commenced forging a highly successful sideman career for the last two decades.  Bhagwan’s original arrangements are essential to shaping the sound of the EBT.

Drummer/percussionist Alphonso M. Young, Jr. is an artist with few peers on his instruments.  His versatile, deeply imaginative style of performance has charmed audiences across the globe.  Among Alphonso’s affiliations have been performances with such noted artists as Vanessa Rubin, Randy Brecker, George Colligan, Buck Hill, Ira Sullivan, Othello Molineaux, Rebecca Parris, Jon Secada and the late Bob Berg.  Young also toured Europe drumming with the Broadway show “Sophisticated Ladies”.  His education career includes music instructor with Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, and on the faculty of Shenandoah University.

The Eric Byrd Trio brings a wealth of ensemble and individual gifts to any recording prospects and bandstand circumstances.  One listen reveals they are also perennial audience favorites.  Additionally their collective skills make them ideal for residency and other humanities program opportunities.

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