NYC Honorary Street Names


Donald Byrd Way Jazz Great (Bronx)
Present name:None
Location:At the intersection of Teasdale Place and the east side of Boston Road
Honoree: Donald Byrd (1932-2013) was a leading jazz trumpeter of the 1950s and early 1960s. He became successful and controversial in the 1970s when he blended jazz, funk, and rhythm and blues into a pop hybrid that defied categorization. He performed and recorded with some of the most prominent jazz musicians of the 1950s including John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey; and had his own hit record called "Black Byrd." He was one of the first musicians to hire pianist Herbie Hancock, who later became successful as well. Byrd taught jazz at Howard, North Carolina Central University, Rutgers, Cornell, the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. In 2000 he was honored with a Jazz Masters award by the National Endowment for the Arts. (Gibson)
William Atmore Byrd, Sr. Place (Manhattan)
Present name:None
Location:At the intersection of West 131st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard
Honoree: William Atmore Byrd, Sr. (1927-2000), a World War II veteran, was the founder and president of the 131st Street Block Association. He established numerous extra-curricular activities for children around 131st Street, including the Cadets Program, the Byrd's Classics Basketball Team, the Vikings Football Team, the Harlem Stomp Troopers, the Youth Tenant Patrol and the Devil's Baseball Team. He was a strong advocate for African-American rights. With Howard Bennett and Julian Bond, he initiated a petition that gained over two million signatures and led to the designation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday. He started a summer youth employment program, as well as a breakfast and lunch program for children and adolescents. He also helped in the formation of the Saint Nicholas Houses Tenant Patrol, and supported the Stuyvesant Association of the Deaf for many years. (Perkins)

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