Sagewriters’ Music Director is in Spirit
Byard Lancaster, a Warrior with a Horn
August 6, 1942 – August 23, 2012
Sagewriters is sad at the passing of our dedicated Music Director and Jazz legend, Byard Lancaster.
Byard’s dedication to our work, his commitment to encouraging young musicians and writers – especially those “at risk” – and his ability to connect people around the world, leaves a hole that can never be filled.
A talent recognized globally, Byard entertained from Philly to Chicago to Jamaica to Paris, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Guinea Montreal, and anywhere that jazz was performed.
A master musician with saxophone, flute and sixteen other instruments, Byard amazed us all when he performed at a Sagewriters’ fund raising art exhibit in 2009. He played three wind instruments at one time! His workshops inspired many of today’s prominent musicians, and his gentle but determined spirit led the fight for musicians to be able to perform on Philadelphia’s streets.
As Pennsylvania’s Jazz Ambassador, Byard was featured in our documentary, Healing Justice: a journey into Shadow America, where he said, “Why can’t we all get along? We have the tools.”
A while back, spending several months near Paris, Byard was working on a jazz opera. He also published several books for musicians.
We are proud that this unique human being graced us with his support and connection to others, helping spread the work of Sagewriters locally and globally, and we will always miss him and keep his spirit in our hearts.
Judith Trustone, Director, Sagewriters and the Global Kindness Revolution