Wallace Roney | The Velvet Note

Wallace Roney

Friday, April 3rd and Saturday, April 4th

Wallace Roney

WallaceRoneyWallace Roney holds the distinction of being the only trumpet player Davis ever personally mentored.Wallace was mentored by Miles Davis after Miles heard him in 1983 at his birthday gala performance in Carnegie Hall. Their association peaked when Miles chose Wallace to share the stage at his historic performance in Montreux in 1991. After Davis died, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Roney banded together and toured the world in tribute.

Roney was born in Philadelphia and attended Howard University [1] and Berklee College of Music inBoston, Massachusetts, after graduating from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts of the D. C. Public Schools[2] where he studied trumpet with Langston Fitzgerald of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Found to have perfect pitch at four years old, Wallace began his musical and trumpet studies at Philadelphia’s Settlement School of Music. He studied with trumpeter Sigmund Hering of the Philadelphia Orchestra from the age of seven until Hering’s death in 1980. Under the watchful eye of Eugene Ormandy, Hering regularly presented Wallace at recitals at the Settlement School, and with the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble, during his studies as a youth in Philadelphia. When he entered the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Wallace Roney had already made his recording debut at age 14, and had attained distinction as a gifted local performer in the Washington, D.C area. In 1979 and 1980, Roney won the Down Beat Award for Best Young Jazz Musician of the Year, and in 1989 and 1990, he won Down Beat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll for Best Trumpeter to Watch.

Despite all his skills and early accomplishments, Roney spent years scrounging for work. Early in his career in the ‘80s, he was at one point homeless; he lived frugally, sleeping on the floors of friends’ apartments and generally “wearing out my welcome”, as he recalled to Washington Post writer James McBride. In 1983 his future began to look brighter – at least temporarily. While taking part in a tribute to Miles Davis at the Bottom Line in Manhattan, he actually got to meet his idol. “He [Davis] asked me what kind of trumpet I had,” Roney told Time magazine, “and I told him none. So he gave me one of his.”

Showtimes:  7:30pm and 9:30pm.  Admission:  $44. 

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