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Open conversation with jazz drummer Roy Haynes Nov. 9


Jazz drummer Roy Haynes, whose legendary career of over 60 years has earned him a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, will appear in an open conversation with Willie Ruff on Saturday, November 9.

The conversation will take place at 10:30am in Sudler Recital Hall, located in W.L. Harkness Hall (adjacent to Sprague Hall). The event is free and open to the public.

Haynes is also performing with his Fountain of Youth Band on Friday, November 8 at 8 pm. TICKETS 

Roy Haynes was born in Boston on March 13, 1925, and has been keenly interested in jazz ever since he can remember. Primarily self-taught, he began to work locally in 1942 with musicians like the Charlie Christian-inflected guitarist Tom Brown, band leader Sabby Lewis, and Kansas City blues-shout alto saxophonist Pete Brown. In the summer of 1945 he got a call to join legendary band leader Luis Russell (responsible for much of Louis Armstrong’s musical backing 1929–1933) to play for the dancers at New York’s legendary Savoy Ballroom. When not traveling with Russell, the young drummer spent much time on Manhattan’s 52nd Street and uptown in Minton’s, the legendary incubator of bebop, soaking up the scene.

Haynes was Lester Young’s drummer from 1947 to 1949, worked with Bud Powell and Miles Davis in ’49, became Charlie Parker’s drummer of choice from 1949 to 1953, toured the world with Sarah Vaughan from 1954 to 1959, and did numerous extended gigs with Thelonious Monk in 1959–60. He made eight recordings with Eric Dolphy in 1960–61, worked extensively with Stan Getz from 1961 to 1965, and played and recorded with the John Coltrane Quartet from 1963 to 1965. Haynes has collaborated with Chick Corea since 1968, and with Pat Metheny during the ’90s. Metheny was featured on Haynes’ previous Dreyfus release Te Vou! (voted by NAIRD as Best Contemporary Jazz Record, 1996).

He’s been an active band leader from the late ’50s to the present, featuring artists in performance and on recordings like Phineas Newborn, Booker Ervin, Roland Kirk, George Adams, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Ralph Moore, and Donald Harrison. A perpetual top three drummer in the Downbeat Readers Poll Awards, he won the Best Drummer honors in 1996 (and many years since), and in that year received the prestigious French Chevalier des l’Ordres Artes et des Lettres.

Dreyfus Jazz released Roy Haynes’ Birds of a Feather, a tribute to the immortal Charlie “Bird” Parker, in September 2001. The father of the bebop movement, Bird turned the jazz world upside down in the early 1940s with his immense technical facility and ground breaking improvisational ideas. For Haynes’ fourth recording for the label, the eminent drummer and band leader takes us back to the era during which he made his first major impact playing alongside Bird, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and the other legendary bop progenitors. The album was nominated for a Grammy in 2002. Dreyfus Jazz also released Roy’s masterpiece, Fountain of Youth, a fiery live record featuring his youthful working band. Inspired by each other’s deft musicianship, the album is a testament to awe inspiring career of the eternally youthful Roy Haynes. In 2008, Haynes released a box set A Life in Time and a live album Whereas. In 2011, he released the studio album Roy-Alty.