Influential jazz great Donald Byrd has died, aged 80.

The sad news was announced by the trumpeter's nephew Alex Bugnon, who told that certain family members were trying to keep the death under "an unnecessary shroud of secrecy".

Byrd reportedly passed away on Monday (04Feb13), but details of his death have not been released.

The jazz man launched his career with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1950s and performed alongside the likes of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock.

His Blue Note Records album Black Byrd became a bestseller for the iconic company and led to the trumpeter forming a group called The Blackbyrds in the 1970s.

Byrd's work has been sampled by hip-hop artists including Public Enemy, Nas and the Pharcyde.

A statement from his nephew reads: "Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death."