Grammy-Winning Jazz Trumpeter Wallace Roney Dies From Coronavirus at 59

wallace roney (Credit:

Celebrated jazz trumpeter and composer Wallace Roney died Tuesday, March 31, in Paterson, N.J. from complications of coronavirus, his family told NPR. He was 59 years old.

His fiancée, Dawn Felice Jones, said Roney was admitted to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center last week.

Born in Philadelphia in 1960, Roney spent his teenage years in Washington, D.C and graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He went on to attend Howard University and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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Roney rose to prominence after winning national awards and joining several high-profile bands. His star continued to rise after Miles Davis invited him on stage to perform together at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival. He would later credit Davis with helping to shape his creative approach.

According to Roney’s website, he played with Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis Jr., Herbie Hancock, Jay McShann, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dizzy Gillespie.

He won a best jazz instrumental performance Grammy Award in 1994 for the album “A Tribute To Miles.” In 1997, he received a second nomination for the album “Remembering Bud Powell.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center posted a tribute to Roney Tuesday Twitter.

“With great sadness, we learned today of the passing of singular trumpeter Wallace Roney,” the tweet said. “A former mentee of icons like Miles Davis and Clark Terry, Roney has long since carved out his own reputation as a true modern great. He will be missed dearly.

Roney is survived by fiancée Dawn Felice Jones, his children Barbara and Wallace Jr. from a previous marriage to the late musician Geri Allen, his stepdaughter Laila Bansaiz and extended family.