Composer, clarinetist, and saxophonist Don Byron has been active in Jazz, Concert, Film, Latin, and Popular Music since his graduation from New England Conservatory in 1984.
A 2-time Grammy nominee, Pulitzer finalist, Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Rome Prize for Musical Composition, he’s won multiple jazz polls as a clarinetist and was named Downbeat’s Jazz Artist of the Year in 1992.
A student of Joe Allard and George Russell, he’s performed with a wide array of artists including Mario Bauza, New England Ragtime Ensemble, Hamiett Bluiett, Daniel Barenboim, Tom Cora, Steve Coleman, Lalo Schiffrin, Anthony Braxton, Ron Carter, Anthony Davis, Carol King, Jack DeJohnette, Marc Ribot, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Vernon Reid, Lionel Hampton, David Murray, Joe Henry, Geri Allen, and Bill Frisell.
He’s composed for several films, written commissioned works for the Kronos Quartet, the Bang On A Can All -Stars, and Lisa Moore. He’s recorded as a leader for the Nonesuch, Blue Note, Savoy, and Cantaloupe labels and extensively performed as a sideman. He was also an original member of Boston’s Klezmer Conservatory Band, and his group Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz contributed to the rising popularity of Klezmer Music internationally.
He’s also worked as professor at several universities including MIT and SUNY Albany. He currently resides in upstate New York.