Bio Warren Byrd (extended)
"Warren Byrd, native of Hartford, Ct. is a pianist/vocalist/composer 'Drawing on his roots to build new sounds', 'Original in ways that relate in ways to how everyone relates', 'Moving "outward" toward the "Core"'. As an American with a heritage rooted in the fertile soil of Black creativity, he explores the universal ideals that connect us all seeking unity in music...he just so happens to really dig Jazz as his main musical springboard."
The youngest of 16, he was encouraged to sing in the church choir from age 4 and embrace big band jazz as well. This grew into a passion for bebop jazz, especially the music of Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson. He began noodling on piano at age 9 and composing music at about age 11, primarily self-taught. In 1972 he studied Piano and Music Theory from that age, most notably with his church music director Thomassina Neely and his South Catholic High School music teacher R. Leslie Childs. His pursuit of theatre amassed him extensive performing credits throughout his teen years. By high school graduation in 1983, he’d earn a full scholarship for Classical Voice at Hartt College of Music. He would soon abandon this to pursue his first love: jazz.
His formative years
He considers 1983 to 1989 his trial-and-error period, reading, listening, and searching for his artistic voice; absorbing many ideas in arts and humanities, he’d culled a pantheon of exemplars signifying an eclectic yearning. He remained intermittently active with theatre and dance, namely with the Performing Ensemble and The Hartford Contemporary Dance Ensemble as actor and musician, landed other positions, such as choir director at a prominent Baptist church in Hartford, and began frequenting the jam local sessions and getting to know the scene. Soon he’d become a full-time musician based in Hartford, CT.
1990 He extended his affinity with theatre composing incidental music for Hartford Children’s Theatre productions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe(1990); The Secret Garden(1992); and the Arkansas Bear(1993)
Working as a professional soloist/leader
- In 1995 he was recorded playing several tracks of live solo piano, who were released on a compilation CD, compiled and released by radio WWUH for a project named: 'Jazz in the Wilde' (1996)http://www.wwuh.org/wwuh-records/0033-jazz-wilde https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-1996-02-15-9602150073-story.html
- In 1999 he formed The Warren Byrd Trio/Group. They played several times at the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Club 880, City's Edge, Hot Peas & Butter, several venues in Providence; Castle Street Cafe, Great Barrington, MA. They accompanied Julia Holiday in 1999; saxophonist Bill Saxton at Central Baptist Church as part of First Night Hartford end of 1999.
- 1999 He was placed in the top 25 of the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.
- 1999 Produced his first album, Truth Raised Twice. released April 22, 2000 on Byrdspeak Productions. The ceremony took place at the 880 Club
- 2000: in May the Warren Byrd Trio did a Spring concert with The Civic Orchestra of New Haven led by Gordon Emerson playing a Bach meets Charlie Parker meets modern classical.
- 2003-2005 He performed as a Duo with his nephew bassist Stephen Porter weekly at Mediza's Restaurant