Imhotep Gary Byrd Hosts ‘Life Celebration’ For J.D. Livingston

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Left to right: The late J.D. Livingstone; Jean Hebrail; Angelique Kidjo; Imhotep Gary Byrd; and, the late Vanessa Cooper, GBE Producer.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Vinette Pryce

Imhotep Gary Byrd, legendary host of the“ GBE Experience,” heard over WLIB, WBLS and WBAI in New York, invites the community to “Thank You For Your Kindness,” a life celebration for GBE producer-activist the late J.D. Livingston on Saturday, June 28.

The event is from 1:00-4:00pm at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building 163 West 125th Street in Harlem.

In honor of J.D. Livingston, the celebration will be done in a Radio GBE live radio format. 

Co-hosted by Byrd and Radio GBE team- arts-entertainment journalist Vinette Pryce, of Caribbean Life, the celebration will the feature remembrances by the National Action Network’s (NAN) founder-activist Rev. Al Sharpton, activists Charles & Inez Barron, former and current NYC Council members, Cliff Frazier, Executive Director, New York Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violence; Dr. Leonard Jeffries, President of World African Diaspora Union; African Spirituality Historian, Prof. James Smalls;, Sista Betty Dobson co founder of CEMOTAP  and Dr Ra Un Nefer Amen author-founder of the Worldwide Ausar Auset Society, Pastor-activist Rev Dr Herbert Daughtry of the House of The Lord Church, among others. Special honoring presentations will be made by NY State Senator Bill Perkins; Voza Rivers, Executive Producer, New Heritage Theatre and 1st VP of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Famed Trumpeter Joey Morant will open up the life celebration, New Orleans style. There will also be a drum procession by the Sheps Hetep Ancestral Music drummers.  “First lady Of Flute” Bobbi Humphrey; r&b jazz diva Alyson Williams (just back from performing at the Dr Maya Angelou memorial); gospel by the Williams Sisters and the “Positive Community Anthem” written by Byrd and sung by Rev Dr Ben Monroe of the NAN-Queens chapter for “Anti Gun Violence Month.” Representatives and personalities from WBLS,WLIB and WBAI will attend and brother Livingston’s family will share precious memories. All are invited as we say a final farewell to a true brother, friend and warrior for our community. The celebration will be streamed online by Bernard White’s  CPR Metro @ cprmetro.org

Born in Guyana, Joseph Dennis Livingston came to the United States in the 1970s, earning a scholarship to Texas A&M University and a degree in broadcast communications. He already held a degree in photography, obtained in London. In New York, he first worked with Byrd as a public relations representative from Joyce Owens Communications. This grew into a 25-year brotherhood and programming collaboration as co-producer of Byrd’s radio programs on WLIB, WBLS and WBAI.

During his radio work, Livingston met Rev. Al Sharpton and joined his overloaded crisis department at National Action Network. Livingston volunteered and worked with NAN for 15 years and devoted himself to issues like police brutality, discrimination and housing.

Sadly, Livingston was diagnosed with colon cancer. He moved in with Byrd, who became his caregiver.  Livingston succumbed on March 14, Imhotep’s birthday, at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx NY.

“J.D. Livingston and I worked together for over 20 years and I will be forever grateful for the love, support and passion and loyalty he brought to Radio GBE,” said Byrd. “Our friendship and his dedication of service to the community are something that will never be forgotten.”

“J.D.  dying on my birthday and that of our mutual sister-friend and colleague, Vinette Pryce, has given this experience a true touch of divinity,” explained Byrd.  “This life celebration is our way of saying to him what he always said to others.  ‘Thank you for your kindness.’ I sincerely hope that all who have been touched by his spirit and the work we have done together in Radio GBE over the years will come out and share our appreciation of a true solider-warrior-friend and brother to me and the community.”

For more information on the “Thank You For Your Kindness,” life celebration for producer extraordinaire the late J.D. Livingston, please call 212-592-3279.   

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