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Byard Lancaster, 70, Famed Phila. Jazz Musician

Published: 2012-08-27
Byard Lancaster

Byard Lancaster, 70, the Philadelphia jazz musician who earned an international reputation as an avant-garde musical explorer in the 1960s and 1970s, died of cancer Thursday, Aug. 23, at KeystoneCare in Wyndmoor, according to his sister, Mary Ann Lancaster Tyler.

In the decades that followed his early fame, he became a local institution, playing saxophone and flute on the streets, in subway concourses, and at clubs around the city.

Mr. Lancaster played alto, soprano, and tenor saxophones, as well as flute, clarinet, and piano. In the '60s he toured Europe with the Philadelphia free jazz drummer Sunny Murray, and he recorded as a leader as early as 1966, displaying his improvisational skills on his album It's Not Up to Us.


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