Boston, Massachusetts native Roy Haynes began his career at the onset of the bebop era in New York. He immediately began working with such swing era notables as Luis Russell. He played with the innovative saxophonist Lester Young for two years followed by engagements with Kai Winding, between 1952 and 1954; Haynes also worked with the Charlie Parker Quintet. During this era he recorded with such legendaries as Bud Powell, Wardell Gray, and Stan Getz. From 1953-1958 Haynes toured the world with Sarah Vaughn, but in 1958 Haynes played with the one and only Thelonius Monk. After drumming for other musicians for years he decided to form his own group, and gigged with George Shearing, Lennie Tristano, Eric Dolphy, and Getz. Roy was an occasional substitute for Elvin Jones in association John Coltrane's classic quartet. He toured with Getz from 1965 to 1967 and Gary Burton from 1967 to 1968. Roy Haynes remains one of the most popular modern jazz drummers in the music business today.
Haynes led a variety of dates for EmArcy, New Jazz, Impulse (with Roland Kirk,) Pacific Jazz, Mainstream and Galaxy. More recently, he recorded with Dreyfus. Haynes toured with Chick Corea in 1981 and 1984 and also Pat Metheny, with whom he recorded "Question and Answer." Haynes continues to maintain a strong relationship with Pat Metheney and toured Spain with him in late 1993.
Considering that he has played with Miles Davis, Art Pepper, Horace Tapscott and Dizzy Gillerpie, it is fair to say that Roy Haynes has in fact played with just about everyone in Jazz.
In 1994, Haynes was awarded the prestigious Jazzpar award, presented by the Danish Jazz Center and dubbed the jazz world's Nobel Prize. Haynes earned an honorary Doctorate from Berklee College and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in honor of his exceptional contributions to the jazz art form.
Haynes maintains a busy touring and recording schedule. Recently, he collaborated with Chick Corea on the "Tribute to Bud Powell" CD and tour, which also featured Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Wallace Roney. His current group is a trio featuring the brilliant pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci. On September 13, 1998 Roy was honored among fellow musicians Louie Bellson, Elvin Jones and Max Roach as the Avedis Zildjian Company held the first American Drummers Achievement Awards at Berklee Performance Center. Roy, a true legend, continues to perform all around the world and delight audiences with his soulful style and taste. Having won Downbeat Magazine's Readers Poll numerous times, in 2004, Roy won the Critics Poll and was inducted into Downbeat Magazine's Hall Of Fame. On March 13, 2005, Roy Haynes will turn 80 years young and his playing is just as fresh and exciting as it was 50 years ago! He has truly found the fountain of youth.
Roy has always been known for the sound of his Ride cymbal; his favorite being a 20" K Custom Flat Ride. He also uses a mixture of Ks and A Customs and his Zildjian Roy Haynes Artist Series Drumsticks.