The Eric Byrd Trio of Frederick County was chosen from among a pool of more than 250 applicants to receive a 2020 Independent Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. They received a $10,000 grant for notable artistic achievement.
For almost two decades, The Eric Byrd Trio, pianist/vocalist Eric Byrd, bassist Bhagwan Khalsa, and drummer Alphonso Young Jr., have traveled the world as enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz. Rooted in swing and be-bop, The Trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style. Their body of work spans seven unique studio and live recordings on which they shine as a Trio and as collaborators with an expanded eight-piece ensemble they call The Eric Byrd Trio: Brother Ray Band, in tribute to The Genius of Soul icon Ray Charles. On each recording, they take a rigorous, modern approach to standards as well as original compositions, playing with great acuity within the broad and rich jazz tradition.
Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Awards recognizes achievement by Maryland artists making work independent of an institution or organization. The awards are accompanied by unrestricted grants that encourage artistic growth and sustained practice.