The heralded jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney, who studied with Miles Davis and other legendary players, has reportedly died today from “complications of COVID-19.”
“I am saddened to confirm that the iconic trumpeter and jazz legend Wallace Roney passed away due to complications of COVID-19 this morning just before noon,” publicist Lydia Liebman said in a news release. “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.”
Roney, a Grammy-winning artist, died at the age of 59.
“Working with Wallace was and will remain one of the greatest privileges of my life,” Liebman says in the news release. “It was an honor to represent him and to be part of his musical world. I cannot even begin to express how much I will miss him and his music.”
Roney was born in Philadelphia on May 25, 1960. Roney took up the trumpet as instrument at an early age. Eventually taking lessons with Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie.
He is most well known for his time with the legendary Miles Davis, who began mentoring Roney in the mid-’80s.
After Miles Davis died in 1991, Roney was selected by the remaining members of the famed Miles Davis quintet — Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, and Ron Carter — to play trumpet on the Grammy-winning “A Tribute to Miles” in 1994.
Roney was a highly sought-after sideman and performer for numerous jazz recordings and tours.
The jazz world has taken the news of his death with an outpouring of comments on social media. Roney was once married to acclaimed jazz pianist-composer Geri Allen and the couple had three children. Allen died in 2017.