Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Joe Byrd, Bassist, Dies at 78

Car crash takes the life of Charlie Byrd’s brother

Stan Getz, Joe Byrd and Charlie Byrd from the Jazz Samba session

Joe Byrd, a bassist best known for his work with his brother, the late guitarist Charlie Byrd, died March 6 in Annapolis, Md., of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. According to police reports documented in Maryland news outlets, Byrd was killed when his car was struck by an SUV driven by a man with numerous previous traffic offenses. He was 78.

Joe Byrd was born with the given name Gene on May 21, 1933, in Chuckatuck, Va. The youngest of four brothers, he took the nickname Joe in childhood, and it stuck throughout his life. The boys’ father, Newman, was a farmer and musician and he led a family band-Joe also played guitar early in his career, but following military service, he attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where he graduated with a degree in double bass and in teaching.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published