Wallace Roney Wiki – Wikipedia
Wallace Roney was an American jazz trumpeter. He was the son of Wallace Roney, U.S. Marshal and President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 102, grandson of Philadelphia musician Roosevelt Sherman, and older brother of tenor and soprano saxophonist Antoine Roney. Roney took lessons from Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie and studied with Miles Davis from 1985 until the latter’s death in 1991.
He is the legendary jazz trumpeter and protege of Miles Davis, has died from complications of coronavirus. He was at the age of 59. Roney’s death was confirmed through multiple posts on the Philadelphia-born legend’s Facebook page.
At the time of his death, Roney was living in New Jersey. According to publicist Lydia Liebman, Roney died just before noon on March 31. At the time of Roney’s death, New York City had become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wallace Roney Bio – Biography
He was born on 25 May 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Howard University and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, after graduating from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts of the D. C. Public Schools, where he studied trumpet with Langston Fitzgerald of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Found to have perfect pitch at the age of four, Wallace began his musical and trumpet studies at Philadelphia’s Settlement School of Music.
He studied with trumpeter Sigmund Hering of the Philadelphia Orchestra for three years. Hering regularly presented Wallace at recitals at the Settlement School, and with the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble, during his studies in Philadelphia.
Prior to studying with Miles Davis, Roney received his jazz education from Clark Terry and Duke Ellington. Roney studied with Davis from 1985 until the latter’s death in 1991.
he first became acquainted with Davis in 1983 after Roney performed at Carnegie Hall. That bio goes on to say that in the same year as Davis’ death, the pair performed together at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.
In an interview with NAMM in 2018, Roney said that he first met Davis in 1983 following a performance at the Bottom Line Club, a famed jazz club in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
On that profile, Roney says of his career, “My goal is to make the best music I can. I enjoy, listen and can play all types of music I filter my expression through the jazz experience.”
Wallace Roney Wife, Children
Roney was preceded in death by his wife, Geri Allen. They married in 1995. The couple had two daughters, Laila and Barbara, and a son, Wallace, together. Allen passed away in 2017. Allen and Roney divorced in 2008. Allen, a famed jazz pianist in her own right, died in June 2017 following a battle with cancer. The couple’s marriage had ended in divorce, according to Roney’s NPR tribute. Roney performed on four of Allen’s albums, beginning with “Maroons” in 1992. The final collaboration came in 2006 with, “Timeless Portraits and Dreams.”
Death Cause (COVID-19)
Famed jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney, who studied with Miles Davis and other legendary players, has reportedly died on 31 March 2020 from “complications of COVID-19.” He has died at the age of 59.
Blue Dawn – Blue Nights Final Album in 2019
In the summer of 2019, Roney released what proved to be his final album, “Blue Dawn – Blue Nights.” Glide Magazine reported that the album was Roney’s 22nd album as a leader. The album did not feature any new compositions. Among those collaborating on the record was Roney’s 15-year-old nephew, Kojo Odu Roney, who played the drums on one track.
Tributes on Social Media
Jazz bassist Christian McBride paid tribute to Roney on Twitter writing, “Our collective spirits are taking some serious blows these days. Saying goodbye to one my beloved big brothers is especially hard. May the great Wallace Roney RIP.”
Writer Steve Silberman said of Roney, “Oh lord. Brilliant #jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney has died of #coronavirus, per @901JAZZ. Just two months ago, his band was playing scorching sets at DC’s Blues Alley.”
Here are of the other most poignant tributes to Roney:
Very sad to hear the news that jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney has passed away due to complications from coronavirus. I am at a loss for words. RIP Wallace. pic.twitter.com/DQRMHTXj7H
— Danilo Pérez (@DaniloPerezJAZZ) March 31, 2020
I first saw #WallaceRoney while attending High School at CAPA in Philadelphia. It was most definitely life-changing in my approach to trumpet. Wallace never played a note just to play it….every note was was meaningful with intent. pic.twitter.com/3QUIyvNebw
— Farnell Newton (@farnellnewton) March 31, 2020
COVID-19 has claimed the life of devastatingly talented jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney.
— Jessica Webster (@A2Jess) March 31, 2020