(CelebrityAccess) — Wallace Roney, the noted jazz trumpeter who was mentored by the great Miles Davis, has died from complications of COVID-19.
His passing was confirmed in a statement by his publicist Lydia Liebman on Tuesday afternoon.
“We are saddened to confirm the passing of our client and friend, iconic trumpeter and jazz legend Wallace Roney. He passed away due to complications of COVID-19 this morning just before noon. The family is looking to have a memorial service to honor Wallace and his musical contributions once this pandemic has passed. Please respect their privacy at this time. Please, friends, be safe.”
A native of Philadelphia, Roney made his recording debut with Nation and Haki Mahbuti when he was just 15, and within a year, he was performing with the Cedar Walton Quartet featuring Billy Higgins, Sam Jones, and Philly Joe Jones.
In 1983, he met Miles Davis during a tribute concert at Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall for the jazz legend and the two began a mentorship.
At the same time, Roney became an in-demand trumpeter, touring with Tony Williams and Art Blakey, later stepping in for Terence Blanchard in Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and becoming a key element of the quartet.
Roney performed alongside Davis at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1991 shortly before Davis’s passing. After Davis died, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Roney formed a group to tour internationally in tribute to Davis, and together, they recorded the album, A Tribute to Miles, for which they won a Grammy Award.
More recently, Roney led his own band, releasing material via High Note.
Roney was preceded in death by his wife Geri Allen, a noted jazz pianist, who died in 2017.