Roy Haynes

Roy Owen Haynes (born March 13, 1925) is an American jazz drummer.[1] He is among the most recorded drummers in jazz. In a career lasting over 70 years he has played swing, bebop, jazz fusion, avant-garde jazz and is considered the father of modern jazz drumming. "Snap Crackle" was a nickname given to him in the 1950s.

Roy Haynes
Haynes live at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 2007
Haynes live at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 2007
Background information
Birth nameRoy Owen Haynes
Born (1925-03-13) March 13, 1925 (age 95)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active1945–present
LabelsMainstream, Emarcy, Impulse!, Galaxy, New Jazz, Pacific Jazz, Evidence, Vogue, Marge
Associated actsLester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Wardell Gray, McCoy Tyner

He has led bands such as the Hip Ensemble.[1] His albums Fountain of Youth[2] and Whereas[3] were nominated for a Grammy Award. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1999.[4] His son Graham Haynes is a cornetist; his son Craig Holiday Haynes and grandson Marcus Gilmore are both drummers.


Roy Haynes drummer

Haynes was born in the Roxbury section of Boston, Massachusetts. His younger brother, Michael E. Haynes, would become an important leader in the black community of Massachusetts, working with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, representing Roxbury in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and for forty years serving as pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church, where King had been a member while he pursued his doctoral degree at Boston University.

Haynes made his professional debut in 1944 in his native Boston and began his full-time professional career in 1945. From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young, and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet. He also recorded at the time with pianist Bud Powell and saxophonists Wardell Gray and Stan Getz. From 1953 to 1958 he toured with singer Sarah Vaughan and recorded with her.

A tribute song was recorded by Jim Keltner and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones,[5] and he appeared on stage with the Allman Brothers Band in 2006[6] and Page McConnell of Phish in 2008.[7] "Age seems to have just passed him by," Watts observed. "He's eighty-three and in 2006 he was voted Best Contemporary Jazz Drummer [in Modern Drummer magazine's readers' poll]. He's amazing."[8]

In 2008, Haynes lent his voice to the 2008 open-world video game, Grand Theft Auto IV to voice himself as the DJ for the fictional contemporary jazz radio station, Jazz Nation Radio 108.5.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Haynes among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[9]


Haynes extracted the rhythmic qualities from melodies and created unique new drum and cymbal patterns in an idiosyncratic, now instantly recognizable style. Rather than using cymbals strictly for effect, Haynes brought them to the forefront of his unique rhythmic approach. He also established a distinctively crisp and rapid-fire sound on the snare; this was the inspiration for his nickname, "Snap Crackle".

Awards and honorsEdit

A Life in Time - The Roy Haynes Story was named by The New Yorker magazine as one of the Best Boxed Sets of 2007[10] and was nominated for an award by the Jazz Journalist's Association. WKCR-FM, New York,[11] surveyed Haynes's career in 301 hours of programming, January 11–23, 2009.[12]

Esquire named Roy Haynes one of the Best Dressed Men in America in 1960, along with Fred Astaire, Miles Davis, Clark Gable, and Cary Grant.

In 1994, he was awarded the Danish Jazzpar prize, and in 1996 the French government knighted him with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" France's top literary and artistic honor. Haynes received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music (1991), and the New England Conservatory (2004), as well as a Peabody Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, in 2012. He was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame in 2004. On October 9, 2010, he was awarded the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. On December 22, 2010, he was named a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.[13] Haynes received the award at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 12, 2011. In 2019, Haynes was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jazz Foundation of America at the 28th Annual Loft Party.[14]


Roy Haynes (left) and Gunther Schuller in 2008

As leader/co-leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit


  1. ^ a b Biography
  2. ^ Fountain of Youth Archived November 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [1] Archived November 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Charlie Watts". Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2012-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Dreyfus Records
  8. ^ Lawrence, Will (May 2008). "King Charles". Q. No. 262. p. 44.
  9. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Best Boxed Sets of 2007 The New Yorker
  11. ^ "WKCR 89.9FM NY". Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  12. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  13. ^ "The Recording Academy Announces Special Merit Award Honorees". News. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  14. ^ Jones, Stephanie (October 23, 2019). "Jazz Foundation of America Honors Roy Haynes, Raises $475K at Annual Loft Party". DownBeat.

External linksEdit