Tuesday, April 20, 2021

We Remember: Celebrated Jazz Trumpeter Wallace Roney Dies From Coronavirus at 59

Wallace Roney
Wallace Roney at Jazz á Vienne, Vienne, France, July 3, 1976. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)

Jazz trumpeter and composer Wallace Roney died on Tuesday, March 31, due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 59.

According to NPR, Roney was admitted to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, last Wednesday.

Born in Philadelphia, Roney’s career began when he was just 12 as part of the classical quintet, Philadelphia Brass. He later joined the Jazz Messengers and recorded a number of albums with Tony Williams for Blue Note throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Roney famously shared the stage with his idol Miles Davis at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival, later featured in the film Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. In 1994, he won a Grammy with the surviving members of the Miles Davis Quintet for the album A Tribute to Miles.

Watch the 1991 performance and more video of Roney below.

Below: Tony Williams Lifetime Live in New York, 1989. Sister Cheryl (Williams) featuring Wallace Roney, trumpet; Bill Pierce, soprano sax; Mulgrew Miller, piano; Ira Coleman, bass; and Tony Williams on Drums.

Below, the Wallace Roney Quintet performs “Metropolis” live at Jazz Club Moods in Zurich, on May 15, 2018.

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