Maxwell Roach – January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007

One of the greatest drummers of all time, Maxwell Roach has joined the ancestors. Roach was 83 and had been ill for several years.

It could be said that Maxwell took the drums from the background and returned it upfront to its place of respect. He also went on to teach at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and won a MacArthur Fellowship, (nicknamed the “genius award”) which has also been won by filmmaker Charles Burnett and science fiction writer Octavia Butler.

It was in 2003 when Maxwell appeared in Toronto to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Greatest Jazz Concert Ever”. This was the event that united Roach, Charlie Parker on alto saxophone, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Charles Mingus on bass and Bud Powell on piano. Roach, Parker, Gillespie, Mingus and Powell performed at the world famous Massey Hall in 1953…



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