Jaki (John) Byard (June 15, 1922 – February 11, 1999) was a jazz piano player and composer who also played trumpet and saxophones, among several other instruments. He was noteworthy for his eclectic style, incorporating everything from ragtime and stride to free jazz. Byard began playing professionally at the age of 15. After serving in World War II he toured with Earl Bostic in the late 1940s, making his recording debut with Charlie Mariano in 1951. Later, he was a member of the bands of Herb Pomeroy (1952-55, recording in 1957) and Maynard Ferguson (1959-62).