Roy Haynes
Haynes performing in 2011
Haynes performing in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRoy Owen Haynes
Born (1925-03-13) March 13, 1925 (age 98)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active1942–present
LabelsMainstream, Emarcy, Impulse!, Galaxy, New Jazz, Pacific Jazz, Evidence, Vogue, Marge
Roy Haynes, George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 (2009) — Newport, Rhode Island

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 80 years, he has played swing, bebop, jazz fusion, avant-garde jazz and is considered a pioneer of jazz drumming. "Snap Crackle" was a nickname given to him in the 1950s.[2]

He has led bands such as the Hip Ensemble.[1] His albums Fountain of Youth[3] and Whereas[4] were nominated for a Grammy Award.[5][6] He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1999.[7] His son Graham Haynes is a cornetist; another son Craig Holiday Haynes and grandson Marcus Gilmore are both drummers.[8]


Haynes performing in San Francisco, 1981

Haynes was born in the Roxbury section of Boston, Massachusetts, United States to Gustavas and Edna Haynes, immigrants from the Barbados.[9] A younger brother, Michael E. Haynes, became 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.[10]

Haynes made his professional debut in 1942 in his native Boston, and began his full-time professional career in 1945.[11] From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young,[9] and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet.[9] He also recorded at the time with pianist Bud Powell and saxophonists Wardell Gray and Stan Getz.[9] From 1953 to 1958, he toured with singer Sarah Vaughan and recorded with her.[12][13]

A tribute song was recorded by Jim Keltner and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones,[14] and he appeared on stage with the Allman Brothers Band in 2006[15] and Page McConnell of Phish in 2008.[16] "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."[17]

In 2008, Haynes lent his voice to the open-world video game Grand Theft Auto IV, to voice himself as the DJ for the fictional classic jazz radio station, Jazz Nation Radio 108.5.[18]

Haynes is known to celebrate his birthday on stage, in recent years at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.[19] In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, his 95th birthday celebration was cancelled.[20]

Awards and honors

A Life in Time – The Roy Haynes Story was named by The New Yorker magazine as one of the Best Boxed Sets of 2007[21] and was nominated for an award by the Jazz Journalist's Association.[22]

WKCR-FM, New York,[23] surveyed Haynes's career in 301 hours of programming, January 11–23, 2009.[24]

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.[13]

In 1994, Haynes 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.[5] In 1995, the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts named Haynes as a NEA Jazz_Master.[25] Haynes received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music (1991),[26] and the New England Conservatory (2004),[27] as well as a Peabody Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, in 2012.[28] He was inducted into the DownBeat magazine Hall of Fame in 2004.[29] 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.[30]

In 2001, Haynes's album Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker was nominated for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards as Best Jazz Instrumental Album.[31] On December 22, 2010, he was named a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences,[32] and he received the award at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on February 11, 2012.[33]

In 2019, Haynes was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jazz Foundation of America at the 28th Annual Loft Party.[34]

Year Result Award Category Work
1988 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group[31] Chick CoreaTrio Music Live in Europe
1989 Won Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group[31] McCoy TynerBlues for Coltrane: A Tribute to John Coltrane
1996 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group[31] Kenny BarronWanton Spirit
1998 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group[31] Chick Corea – Remembering Bud Powell
2000 Won Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group[31] Gary BurtonLike Minds
2001 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[35]
2001 Won DownBeat Readers Poll Drums
2002 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Album[31] Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker
2002 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[36]
2002 Won DownBeat Readers Poll Drums
2003 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[37]
2003 Won DownBeat Readers Poll Drums
2004 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Hall of Fame[38]
2004 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[38]
2004 Won DownBeat Readers Poll Drums
2005 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group[31] Fountain of Youth
2005 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[39]
2007 Nominated Grammy Award Best Jazz Instrumental Solo[31] "Hippidy Hop" in A Life in Time: The Roy Haynes Story
2007 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[40]
2008 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[41]
2009 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[42]
2010 Won DownBeat Critics Poll Drums[43]
2012 Won Grammy Award Lifetime Achievement Award[31]
2019 Won Jazz Foundation of America Lifetime Achievement Award[34]


Roy Haynes (left) and Gunther Schuller in 2008

As leader/co-leader


As sideman

In recorded year order


  1. ^ a b "Roy Haynes | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  2. ^ Kahn, Ashley (May 9, 2019). "Roy Haynes: Snap Crackle". Jazz Times. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  3. ^ "Fountain of Youth". Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Dreyfus Records - Whereas". 13 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Roy Haynes: Biography". Blue Note Records. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  6. ^ "Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band". Rensselaer. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. ^ Beener, Angelika (February 6, 2013). "When Your Grandfather Is The Greatest Living Jazz Drummer". NPR. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 195. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  10. ^ Levenson, Michael (September 13, 2019). "The Rev. Michael Haynes, who made an impact across the state, dies at 92". Boston Globe. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  11. ^ "Roy Haynes". Yamaha. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  12. ^ Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Haynes, Roy Owen". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 306.
  13. ^ a b Stephenson, Sam (December 2003). "Jazzed About Roy Haynes". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  14. ^ "Charlie Watts". Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  15. ^ "Hittin' the Note - 2006". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  16. ^ "Roy Haynes with Page McConnell and Jon Fishman from Phish - photographic image". 13 August 2008. Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  17. ^ Lawrence, Will (May 2008). "King Charles". Q. No. 262. p. 44.
  18. ^ "Roy Haynes". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  19. ^ "Roy Haynes". DrummerWorld. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  20. ^ Shteamer, Hank (March 13, 2020). "Flashback: Roy Haynes Journeys From Free Jazz to Bebop at the White House". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  21. ^ "Top CD Boxed Sets of 2007". The New Yorker. 18 November 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Jazz Journalists Association: Jazz Awards: 2008". JazzHouse. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  23. ^ "WKCR 89.9FM NY". Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  24. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  25. ^ "Roy Haynes". NEA. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  26. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  27. ^ "NEC Honorary Doctor of Music Degree". New England Conservatory. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  28. ^ "George Peabody Medal Recipients". Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  29. ^ "Roy Haynes". Downbeat. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  30. ^ "Roy Haynes – 2010 Living Legacy Awardee". Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Roy Haynes". Recording Academy. 23 November 2020.
  32. ^ "The Recording Academy Announces Special Merit Award Honorees". News. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  33. ^ "Grammy Week". Billboard. January 7, 2012. p. 53.
  34. ^ a b Jones, Stephanie (October 23, 2019). "Jazz Foundation of America Honors Roy Haynes, Raises $475K at Annual Loft Party". DownBeat.
  35. ^ "2001 Down Beat Critics Poll". Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  36. ^ "2002 Down Beat Critics Poll". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  37. ^ "BMI Dominates Downbeat Critics Poll". June 26, 2003. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  38. ^ a b Hull, Tom. "Downbeat Critics Poll: 2004". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  39. ^ Hull, Tom. "Downbeat Critics Poll: 2005". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  40. ^ "BMI Jazz Giants Score in Down Beat 2007 Critics Poll". July 27, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  41. ^ Hull, Tom. "Downbeat Critics Poll: 2008". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  42. ^ Hull, Tom. "Downbeat Critics Poll: 2009". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  43. ^ "Critics Poll Winners: Drums". DownBeat. August 2010. p. 51.
  44. ^ Umphred, Neal (1994). Goldmine's Price Guide to Collectable Jazz Albums, 1949–1969. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause. p. 386.