Born: March 24, 1969 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Toni Byrd has definitely established herself as one of Atlanta’s unforgettable and versatile premiere vocal artists. This singer/songwriter is continually drawing fans locally and has established a worldwide fan base with her smooth and mesmerizing vocals. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Byrd has made Georgia her home since the year 2000 and has worked with some of Atlanta’s finest artists from the host of Atlanta’s longest running jam session at Churchill Grounds, Danny Harper, to jazz trumpeter, Joe Gransden. In addition to singer/songwriter, add actress to her status. Byrd was cast in a primary role, playing the character, “Ida Belle”, in the movie, Lawless, opening in theaters August 29, 2012, starring, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pierce, and Gary Oldman.
Byrd began singing at a very early age and grew up listening to all types of music. Her influences span singers such as Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald, Karen Carpenter, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Barbara Streisand, Gladys Knight, Anita Baker, Bill Withers, Natalie Cole and Patsy Cline. Some have said that they hear some of these influences when she performs. I appreciate it very much when someone compare me to these great icons. They set the bar and I feel they can never be replaced or duplicated....they have inspired me greatly. Due to Byrd's extraordinary talent, she has drawn the attention of many of Georgia's talented musicians, vocalists and bands. One of her longest musical involvements is with The Peachtree Jazz Edition under the direction of David Gaissert. Byrd has been the vocalist for this popular Atlanta big band since 2003.
Byrd has performed in and around the Atlanta area including performances at the grand opening of the Villa Ricca Amphitheater in Villa Ricca, Georgia and at the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta. Byrd has also performed at The Rialto Theater, The Ritz Carlton-Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, The Atlanta Policemen Ball (two years consecutively), The Georgian Terrace in downtown Atlanta, Big Canoe Mountain Resort in Big Canoe, Georgia, The Egyptian Room at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta, The Georgia Aquarium, Druid Hills Country Club, Fred Brown Amphitheater in Peachtree City, Georgia, St. Simons Island, The Villages Amphitheater in Fayetteville, Georgia, Marriott Marquis, The Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, Ventanna's, The Ritz Carlton Downtown Atlanta, Cafe 290 in Sandy Springs, Georgia and Churchill Grounds in downtown Atlanta. Byrd has opened for music artists, Kenny G, Take 6 and Wycliffe Gordon and has performed after parties for Norman Brown, Eric Darius, Pieces of A Dream, Richard Elliot, George Benson and Boney James.
Byrd's first recording experience was on a live recording project in Memphis, Tennessee. That was an exciting time for me and what made it even more special was that I got some very good microphone techniques from Stax songwriter, David Porter, on that first recording. Byrd found herself recording live once again with Billy Rivers and the Grammy nominated choir, The Angelic Voices of Faith on the album, Gotta Lift Him. Byrd used what she learned from those early experiences when she recorded her first CD, with fellow musician, Neal Wauchope, entitled No Greater Love....Remembering Billie Holiday. Released in November of 2010, the CD covers 17 songs recorded by Billie Holiday. It was very exciting working on this CD project. I worked with some phenomenally talented musicians and studio engineers and enjoyed every moment of it. Billie Holiday is one of my favorite jazz icons and I feel very honored to pay tribute to her with this project. Byrd's next CD project will feature original songs she has written and a Christmas CD project is also in the works.
Byrd currently performs every week at The Georgia Shrimp Company in Peachtree City, Georgia and at Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.
Come join us for the first gig of the night at Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint. A fresh sound Toni Byrd who is a new face to the Atlanta music scene. Her influences span singers such as Nancy Wilson, Anita O'Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Karen Carpenter, Betty LaVette, Kellye Gray, Billie Holiday, Barbara Streisand, Doris Day, Patti Page, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Sarah Vaughn, Bill Withers, Patsy Cline and Natalie Cole. - What's Hot In Atlanta (web news) (Jun 03, 2011)
The Southern Crescent Chorale makes its eighth appearance at the Villages Amphitheater with toe tapping music at our concert Dancin’! Special guest soloist will be Toni Byrd, a local favorite who appears all over the Atlanta. Toni has performed in many venues in and around the Atlanta area. Byrd opened for Take 6 at the Rialto Theater and for Wycliff Gordon along with her big band family, The Peachtree Jazz Edition. She currently performs weekly at The Georgia Shrimp Company in Peachtree City, Georgia ,Founder's Restaurant and Bar in Senoia, Georgia and at Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint in downtown Atlanta. - Submitted by The Citizen, The Citizen Newspaper (May 03, 2011)