by Peter Aaron
In 1992 Byron was named Jazz Artist of the Year by Downbeat Magazine and regularly tops jazz critics’ polls for best clarinetist. A member of the Black Rock Coalition and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship winner, he’s recorded with Allen Toussaint, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid, Bill Frisell, Joe Henry, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and others. For next month’s area dates, Byron and his band of vocalist Dean Bowman, keyboardist Pete Levin, bassist Scott Petito, guitarist Matt Finck, and drummer Zachary Alford will explore the music of Junior Walker, Ray Charles, and other funk, soul, and jazz immortals.
Here’s a funky-as-hell cut from Byron’s 1998 album Nu Blaxploitation (Blue Note Records):
Don Byron and Friends will perform at the Towne Crier in Beacon, New York, on November 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (845) 855-1300 or visit http://www.townecrier.com/. The group will also perform at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY, on November 28 at 9pm. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (518) 828-4800 or visit http://helsinkihudson.com/index.html.