In Memoriam: Wallace Roney (1960 – 2020)

(Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/FilmMagic)

Wallace Roney (May 25, 1960 – March 31, 2020) was an American jazz (hard bop and post-bop) trumpeter.

Roney took lessons from Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie and studied with Miles Davis from 1985 until the latter’s death in 1991. Wallace credited Davis as having helped to challenge and shape his creative approach to life as well as being his music instructor, mentor, and friend; he was the only trumpet player Davis personally mentored.

Wallace Roney was the son of Wallace Roney, U.S. Marshal and President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 102, grandson of Philadelphia musician Roosevelt Sherman, and older brother of tenor and soprano saxophonist Antoine Roney. In 1995, Roney married pianist Geri Allen, with whom he had two daughters and a son. The marriage ended prior to Allen’s death in 2017. The two artists collaborated on records on many occasions during the 1990s and 2000s, on records released under each artist’s name.

Earlier in his life, Roney had been a resident of Montclair, New Jersey.

Wallace Roney died at the age of 59 on March 31, 2020, at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. The cause was complications arising from COVID-19.

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