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Toby Byron

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Toby Byron
Born (1952-11-17) November 17, 1952 (age 68)
Oakland, California
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation
Producer, entrepreneur
📆 Years active  1971–present
👩 Spouse(s)Judith Reich

Toby Byron (born November 17, 1952) is an award-winning[1] American music, arts and entertainment producer. Since 1986, Byron has been president of Multiprises, LLC.[2] In 2013, he co-founded I Require Art Studios, LLC, the parent company of I Require Art and is its Chief Executive Officer.[3]

Early Life and Work[edit]

Toby Byron was born in Oakland, California to Lloyd Byron and Jane Rosay. Byron's father was for many years a principal in the San Francisco mechanical engineering firm, Gayner Engineers. His mother was a homemaker. First living in San Francisco (Haight and Broderick), Byron's family moved to South San Francisco and when he was 8, to Mill Valley in Marin County. A young competitive swimmer, Byron was sidetracked by San Francisco's psychedelic rock scene where he had a front row seat. It was in high school that he began booking his friends' bands, and with friend Michael Goldberg, promoting concerts throughout Marin County featuring bands such as Clover, Flying Circus, Muskadine Blues Band, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Shades of Joy, Seatrain, Sons of Champlin, Boz Scaggs and Mike Bloomfield.[4] Byron and Goldberg also published a Rolling Stone-styled music publication, Hard Road, with a Jerry Garcia interview and cover. It lasted one issue.

Business Career[edit]

Following graduation from Mill Valley's Tamalpais High School in 1971, Byron became a booking agent and later Mike Bloomfield's personal agent and road manager[5], administering recording sessions, serving as go-between with Columbia Records, Bloomfield’s record company, and facilitating collaborations with Mark Naftalin, Dr. John, John Hammond, Jr., Al Kooper, Chicago Slim[6] and Sunnyland Slim among others.[7] In 1974, Byron tour managed Van Morrison before moving to New York City in 1975 to tour manage the then new jazz rock group, the Billy Cobham-George Duke Band. After two years he moved on to work with two ex-Return to Forever members, guitarist Al Di Meola and drummer Lenny White, whose career he managed until 1981. In this period, Byron extricated White from his recording contract with Nat Weiss' Nemperor Records and signed a new contract with Elektra Records’ fledgling fusion division under record executive Don Mizell. Byron helped make White and his group, Twennynine, a major crossover success with best-selling fusion funk hits (“Peanut Butter”); a touring group (with Prince, Rick James, Herbie Hancock) and television appearances (“Dick Clark’s American Bandstand,” “Dinah Shore,” “The Mike Douglas Show”).

Multiprises, LLC[edit]

Byron started his production company, Multiprises, LLC, in 1986 with the “Masters of American Music” series.[8] It included 10 documentary films:[9] “Celebrating Bird — The Triumph of Charlie Parker”; “Satchmo — Louis Armstrong”[10]; “Lady Day — The Many Faces of Billie Holiday”; “The World According to John Coltrane”; “Thelonious Monk — American Composer”;[11] “Sarah Vaughan — The Divine One”;[12] “Count Basie — Swingin' The Blues”; “Ray Charles — The Genius of Soul”[13]; the “Story of Jazz”; and “Bluesland — A Portrait in American Music.” These projects were funded via an international co-production deal with Germany's Beta Film, Japan's VideoArts Music and U.S. television broadcasters WNET (PBS), the A&E Network and Bravo cable network.[14]

Multiprises has also packaged and produced book tie-ins with the company’s television production work.[15] Books include: “Celebrating Bird — The Triumph of Charlie Parker” by Gary Giddins; “Satchmo — Louis Armstrong” by Gary Giddins; “Lady Day — The Many Faces of Billie Holiday” by Robert O'Meally;[16] “Searching for Robert Johnson” by Peter Guralnick[17]; “Bluesland—Portraits of Twelve Major American Blues Masters” by Pete Welding and Toby Byron[18], and earlier books: “Listen to These Pictures — Photographs of John Lennon” by Bob Gruen and “Michael Bloomfield — The Rise and Fall of An American Guitar Hero” by Ed Ward[19] in conjunction with the two-LP collection, “Bloomfield – A Retrospective” (Columbia Records).

Byron owns a voluminous, one-of-a-kind collection of original Billie Holiday research material, ephemera and photographs.

In 1997, Byron developed and co-produced with John Scher (Metropolitan Entertainment) and NHK Japan “The Kennedy Center Presents – A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of The Blues,”, one of the first HD television specials with special guests, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Peter Wolf, John Hiatt, Nick Gravenites, Charlie Musselwhite, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Koko Taylor, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards. Billy Dee Williams hosted. Byron also developed and co-produced with Linda Ellerbee and Robert Riesenberg “All Star Moms,”[20] a CBS television special with Robin Williams, Ellen Degeneres, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Rather, Dwight Gooden, Gloria Estefan, Jane Seymour and Chuck Norris among others. Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher hosted. Save the Children was the charity partner.

Byron has continued producing with U.S. and international partners “Nine Hundred Nights-/ Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin"[21]; “Billie Holiday-The Ultimate Collection” (Universal Music Group); “Louis Armstrong-The Portrait Collection”[22] (Universal Music Group); “Thelonious Monk — Paris, 1969”[23] (Blue Note Records). He has worked extensively in program distribution, arranging intellectual property and streaming deals for U.S. music properties worldwide.

I Require Art[edit]

In 2013, Byron joined I Require Art[24], the digital arts platform, formalizing it and its parent company, I Require Art Studios, LLC. As co-owner and CEO, he has branded the entity, grown viewership, broadened the art viewing experience, introduced additional social features while putting it on a path to monetization and realizing the full market potential. The website was launched in December, 2014.


Year Title Credit
1988 Celebrating Bird – The Triumph of Charlie Parker producer
1989 Satchmo – Louis Armstrong producer
1990 Lady Day – The Many Faces of Billie Holiday producer
1991 The World According to John Coltrane producer, co-director
Thelonious Monk – American Composer producer
1992 Count Basie – Swingin’ The Blues producer
Ray Charles – The Genius of Soul producer
Sarah Vaughan – The Divine One producer
1993 The Story of Jazz producer
Bluesland – A Portrait in American Music[25] producer, co-writer
1997 All Star Moms co-producer
The Kennedy Center Presents – A Tribute to Muddy Waters: King of the Blues co-producer
2001 Nine Hundred Nights – Big Brother and The Holding Company with Janis Joplin producer, co-writer
2004 Gunsmoke Blues[26] producer
2009 The Night James Brown Saved Boston executive producer


Year Title Credit
1983 Michael Bloomfield – The Rise and Fall of An American Guitar Hero by Ed Ward (producer)
1985 Listen To These Pictures – Photographs of John Lennon by Bob Gruen (producer)
1988 Celebrating Bird – The Triumph of Charlie Parker by Gary Giddins (producer)
1989 Satchmo – Louis Armstrong[27] by Gary Giddins (producer)
1990 Lady Day – The Many Faces of Billie Holiday by Robert O’Meally (producer)
Searching for Robert Johnson by Peter Guralnick (producer)
1993 Bluesland – Twelve Portraits of Major American Blues Masters[28] by Pete Welding and Toby Byron


  1. "Awards - Multiprises, LLC". multiprises-l5.com.
  2. As described here: http://multiprises-l5.com/index.html and here http://multiprises-l5.com/about.html
  3. See http://irequireart.com/about.html
  4. http://www.bay-area-bands.com/bab00026.htm
  5. "Michael Bloomfield - If You Love These Blues". google.com.
  6. "Classic Poster - Mike Bloomfield at Fillmore West 4/29-5/2/71 Winterland 4/29-5/1/71 by Randy Tuten". classicposters.com.
  7. "Mike Bloomfield: An American Guitarist". mikebloomfieldamericanmusic.com.
  8. "SIGNOFF - Jazz From Stride to Blues and Beyond - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. September 10, 1995.
  9. "Masters American Music". jazzhistoryonline.
  10. "Review/Television - 3 Black Musicians and Their Roots - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. July 17, 1989.
  11. "The Jazz Cadence of American Culture". google.com.
  12. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/29/arts/review-television-sarah-vaughan-story-mostly-in-song.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C{%221%22%3A%22RI%3A8%22}; https://books.google.com/books?id=tqPnM_e4CPYC&pg=PA834&lpg=PA834&dq=toby+byron&source=bl&ots=grYEYQ0F1Q&sig=JyLKcANuQ4kAW3TiL9w6UFN-tNY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-6CxVPO_KIfqggTZsYOYCQ&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBzge#v=onepage&q=toby%20byron&f=false
  13. "TV Weekend - How Ray Charles Became Ray Charles - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. January 3, 1992.
  14. See http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/18/arts/home-video-500771.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C{%221%22%3A%22RI%3A8%22}
  15. "Books - Multiprises, LLC". multiprises-l5.com.
  16. "The Facts Behind The Legend Of Jazz Great Billie Holiday". Chicago Tribune.
  17. "Peter Guralnick". peterguralnick.com.
  18. http://www.bluesworld.com/Welding.htm; https://www.amazon.com/Bluesland-Portraits-Twelve-American-Masters/dp/0525933751/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420925763&sr=1-1&keywords=bluesland&tag=everybodywikien-20
  19. "MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero.; Produced by Toby Byron - Ed Ward - First Edition". R & A Petrilla, Booksellers.
  20. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-05-09/features/9705090245_1_all-star-moms-linda-ellerbee-gloria-estefan; http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/may/09/celebrities-cast-spotlight-on-their-moms/;
  21. "Eagle Rock - Big Brother and The Holding Co". eagle-rock.com.
  22. "Amazon.com: The Portrait Collection: Louis Armstrong: Louis Armstrong: Movies & TV". amazon.com.
  23. http://www.bluenote.com/news?p=16
  24. "Welcome - I Require Art". irequireart.com.
  25. "Icons of African American Literature". google.com.
  26. "GUNSMOKE BLUES". smoreent.com.
  27. "SATCHMO
    LOUIS ARMSTRONG, S'more Entertainment"
    . smoreent.com.
  28. Mario Hemken. "Books About The Blues: Pete Welding & Toby Byron - Bluesland - Portraits Of Twelve Major American Blues Massters". bluesbooks.blogspot.com.

External links[edit]

Toby Byron on IMDb DEFAULTSORT:Byron, Toby

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