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Friday, July 29th: Songstress Toni Byrd
July 29, 2022 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
SHOWTIMES: 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Toni Byrd, dubbed as “The Velvet SongByrd,” is a world class recording artist, songwriter, award winner of the 2014 Black Women In Jazz, semi-finalist in the 2014 Indaba Music Sarah VaughnInternational Jazz Vocal Competition; and she is an unforgettable and versatile song stylist.
In addition to all of her credits, add actress to her impressive list. Currently based in Atlanta, this beautiful native Memphian was cast in a primary role playing the character “Ida Belle” in the movie, “Lawless,” an American crime drama film directed by John Hillcoat with screenplay by Nick Cave and starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pierce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowksa, Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman. She recorded background vocals for the TV series pilot, “Still The King”, starring Billy Ray Cyrus and in December of 2016, under the historical Obama Administration, performed at the White House Tour in Washington, DC. She is the first female vocalist to perform at the legendary Pinewood Atlanta Studios (known for James Bond, Marvel and Pirates of the Caribbean movies)
Byrd began her professional career in music in 1996 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, Lionel Byrd, who was a member of a 60’s musical group, The 4 Kings in Memphis Tennessee, did not restrict her to one genre of music. She listened to gospel, jazz, R&B, pop, American Funk and Country Music. Byrd recalls hearing opera singer, Leontyne Price, in a commercial for the United Negro College Fund. “While growing up I never knew there were African American opera singers and found myself imitating the richness and clarity of this beautiful woman’s voice.” Her other influences include singers, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald, Karen Carpenter, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Anita Baker, Maysa, Yolanda Adams, Andre Crouch and The Hawkins Family, to mention a few.
In July of 2017, Toni wrote, and released, her first solo of original songs on her Inspirational Jazz EP, Forever You’re My God; that was nominated, that same year, by The Rhythm of Gospel Awardsin 4 categories: EP/Digital Album of the Year, Praise/Worship Song of the Year, Best Performance by Female Artist and Inspirational Song of the Year. Byrd is the featured vocalist on a recording that gave tribute to Natalie Cole entitled Toni Sings Natalie…A Natalie Cole Tribute released in January 2019.
Note: this date was previously held by Ritah Wilburn, who has cancelled her show. For questions, call 855.5.VELVET. For seats to Toni’s performances, click below.