Donald Byrd, influential jazz trumpet player who performed with artists including John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock, died Feb. 4 at 80, according to Haley Funeral Directors in Michigan.
The Detroit native was also influential in jazz fusion via his group The Blackbyrds, formed in the 1970s and known for hits “Walking In Rhythm” and “Happy Music.”
Byrd taught at nine universities and was prominently sampled in various hip-hop recordings by Nas, Public Enemy and Ice Cube. He also collaborated with hip-hop artist Guru on Guru’s Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 released in 1993, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality, released in 1995.