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Rudy Royston

Idioma disponible: inglés
One of the most understated, yet still stylistically boundary-pushing drummers of his generation, Rudy Royston is a revered sideman and leader in his own right. While deeply knowledgeable of the swinging post-bop style of icons like Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Max Roach, Royston has wide influences and draws upon folk, country, and global traditions. He initially rose out of the vibrant Denver jazz and creative music scene of the early '90s, working with Ron Miles and Fred Hess. Following a move to New Jersey, he again established himself alongside forward-thinking luminaries like Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, and Ben Allison. His own albums have displayed his stylistically broad-minded approach, covering both Radiohead and Mozart on 2014's 303, or exploring rootsy folk, country, and global music on 2018's Flatbed Buggy and 2023's Day. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Royston grew up playing drums and gospel music in church. His father, a shipping manager at a children's instrument company, would also encourage his musical interests by bringing home sundry toy percussion instruments for his son. Along with private percussion lessons, he also studied viola and the tenor saxophone. In high school, he became interested in jazz and classical music. He also embraced marching band percussion and played in various high level city and state ensembles. Another important early experience was attending the Telluride Jazz Camp in Colorado where he met noted jazz drummers Duffy Jackson and Ed Soph. After high school, he further honed his skills, study marching band percussion, classical percussion and jazz performance at the University of Northern Colorado, Metropolitan State College of Denver, and University of Denver. He eventually graduated from Denver University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Music and English. Along the way, he also earned his teaching certificate and spent a decade teaching music in the public schools. It was also while in Denver that he met several artists who would have a great influence on the trajectory of his career, including trombonist Fred Hess, with whom he made his recorded debut. He also developed a close creative relationship with trumpeter Ron Miles. Together, they recorded Miles' early albums, including 1996's My Cruel Heart, 1997's Woman's Day, and 2003's Laughing Barrel; the latter two albums featuring guitarist Bill Frisell, who would also become a close associate. Around 2006, Royston relocated to New Jersey, where he completed a Masters in Music degree from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. There, he became an integral member of trumpeter Dave Douglas' band, as well as on projects with bassist Ben Allison, and Frisell. Since then, he has also worked with a bevy of other forward-thinking performers, including Andy Milne, Bruce Barth, George Colligan, Don Byron, Jonathan Kreisberg, Jenny Scheinman and Craig Handy, among many others. As a leader, Royston debuted in 2014 for the Greenleaf label with 303, a sophisticated small group album that found him playing his own compositions, along with a cover of Radiohead's "High and Dry" and a rendition of Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus." A year later, he joined Bela Szakcsi, Tim Ries, and Robert Hurst for Climate Change. A trio album, Rise of Orion, arrived in 2016 and featured the drummer with bassist Yasushi Nakamura and saxophonist Jon Irabagon. He also joined Michele Franzini and Roberto Mattei for another trio album, 2017's Roots N Rain. In 2018, he introduced his rootsy chamber group Flatbed Buggy with their eponymous Greenleaf Label album. The group featured clarinetist and saxophonist John Ellis, accordionist Gary Versace, cellist Hank Roberts, and bassist Joe Martin. It found Royston digging into his folk, country, and world music influences. Following sessions with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Lisa Hilton, Frisell, and Douglas, he delivered 2020's PaNOptic, an album of solo drumming released in support of the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. He returned in 2023 with his second Flatbed Buggy album, Day.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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