by Luke Stewart
The immortal drummer Roy Haynes leads his Fountain of Youth Band this weekend at Blues Alley, D.C.’s longest continuously running jazz club. It is only fitting that such a legendary venue would host a musician whose legacy never ceases to grow, as he performs with younger musicians and elder statesmen alike. (Not to mention that he has produced a number of notable musicians: Haynes is the father of trumpeter Graham Haynes and drummer Craig Haynes, and the grandfather of drummer Marcus Gilmore.)
In terms of experience and breadth of musicianship, Roy Haynes is quite possibly the foremost jazz drummer alive today. He was born in 1925, which means he came of age just in time for the rise and subsequent dominance of bebop. It also means he had the opportunity to perform with virtually every luminary of the time, from Lester Young to Charlie Parker to Bud Powell, and many more. His distinctive, constantly pushing ride cymbal attack became an emblem of the bebop era.
He kept up his momentum as an extremely in-demand performer throughout his career, and was a party to the many stylistic changes on the jazz scene during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, all the way through the present day. If one were to name any influential jazz musician who was active during Haynes’ seven-decade-long career, chances are he has performed with them.
Of late, Haynes has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Living Legacy Award, and an NEA Jazz Master prize. In his Fountain of Youth Band – which includes contemporary greats Jaleel Shaw on saxophone, Martin Bejerano on piano and David Wong on bass – Haynes continues to expand his legacy. As an 87-year-old drummer who continues to create Grammy Award-nominated albums while maintaining a steady performance schedule, Roy Haynes is the embodiment of the notion that music is the Fountain of Youth.
CapitalBop has a handful of tickets to give away to his upcoming Blues Alley shows: two pairs for the 8 p.m. set on Thursday night, and two more pairs for the 8 p.m. show on
Sunday Friday (Updated: 5.16.12, 2:30 p.m.). Entering the drawing is very easy, and if you do, there is a strong chance you’ll win. Here’s how to do it. If you’re on Twitter, just tweet the link to this article. (You can do that here.) Or, if you have a Facebook account, visit us at facebook.com/capitalbop and “share” our link to this article with your friends. (Find that here.) Either method — sharing this post via Facebook or Twitter — gives you the same chance of winning. Good luck!