Legends Brass has teamed up with the legendary Winston Byrd to create this fantastic mouthpiece. Mr. Byrd wanted a piece that was comfortable enough to play for the whole gig, and flexible enough to handle everything from dark, brooding melodies to soaring high improv solos. Welcome to Byrdland! The Byrdland rim is flattened on top, but very rounded on the inside with little or no bite. The cup is best described as a shallow v-shaped bowl. The throat is a #28, which is just tight enough to give those upper notes some zing without losing the richness of the lower register. The backbore is the Legends Manhattan, which has great focus and nice resistance, and is specifically geared for extended performances and all night gigs. The Byrdland is kept in stock in our Vintage blank, which has an art deco look inspired by mouthpieces played by legendary jazz players of a bygone era.
About the legendary Winston Byrd:
Winston Byrd was initially bitten by the ‘jazz bug’ as a seventh grader when he heard Maynard Ferguson’s playing of ‘Give It One.’ Soon after, he witnessed Dizzy Gillespie and Jon Faddis trading solos on ‘Groovin High’ on a 1986 Grammy Awards telecast. A 1991 graduate of Gateway Regional High School in southern New Jersey, Mr. Byrd has had a career more like his forbears than his contemporaries; like jazz musicians of the mid-20th century, he developed his chops and style on the road in bands big and small, rather than in the classroom. Planning to go New York University to study Clinical Psychology, he detoured to go on the road (initially with the Stylistics), and never returned to college.
Enamored of high note playing, he worked at being able to articulate in the ‘stratosphere’, and then the young trumpeter became a multi-talented improviser in swing, hard-bop, bebop, funk, smooth jazz as well being versed in studies of classical trumpet. He earned gigs as a lead trumpeter in big bands including those of Illinois Jacquet, David Murray, Slide Hampton, Louie Bellson and Oliver Lake, as well as the Count Basie Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Trumpeter Jon Faddis became an early role model and mentor, and Mr. Byrd has played in the trumpet section of the Faddis-led ‘Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band’.Another influence and current mentor is Arturo Sandoval. Winston has also performed, recorded, and/or toured with a myriad of big name jazz and pop artists and orchestras including The Chi-Lites, Patti Austin, The Dells, The Grateful Dead, Lionel Hampton, Michael Bolton, Illinois Jacquet Big Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Pieces Of A Dream, Claudio Roditi, David Murray, Oliver Lake Big Band, Larry Coryell, Aretha Franklin, Charles Tolliver Big Band, The Stylistics, Natalie Cole, Arturo Sandoval, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), Chucho Valdes, Louie Bellson, T.S. Monk, David ‘Fathead’ Newman, Chaka Khan, Clark Terry (who suprise-guested with Winston on his All-Star 31st birthday concert!), James Moody, The Dramatics, Shirley Horn, Paquito d’ Rivera, Lucky Peterson, Bernard Purdie, Diane Schuur, Don Rickles, Usher, Abbey Lincoln and the Charles Mingus Big Band among others!
Mr. Byrd, who leads his own bands (one in New York, one in Los Angeles) has recently recorded his first CD, ‘Soul Searchin.’ His compositions can be heard on the CD, as well as on T.S. Monk’s latest release, ‘Higher Ground’ (Mr. Byrd is a former member of the T.S. Monk Band). Since moving to Los Angeles (as well as keeping a base in New York City as well), Winston has been keeping busy with even MANY more artists on the West Coast, such as the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, the Frank Capp Juggernaut, the Buddy Collette Big Band, Steve March Torme, Eric Benet, The Don Ellis Reunion Big Band, Craig Robinson (of the NBC hit show, The Office), Ernie Andrews and also performing on the L.A. based award shows such as the Grammys & the B.E.T. awards!!! Along with these many attributes, Mr. Byrd has organized his Los Angeles based Jazz Orchestra which has been leaving audiences speechless since being formed just a year ago with some of L.A.’s finest and hottest players!!!