Berklee Oral History : Video Archives
Roy Haynes Haynes has been "hard swinging" since 1944, when he made his professional debut at the age of seventeen in his native Boston.
Haynes extracted the rhythmic qualities from melodies and created unique new drum and cymbal patterns in an idiosyncratic, now instantly recognizable style. Rather than using cymbals strictly for effect, Haynes brought them to the forefront of his unique rhythmic approach. He also established a distinctively crisp and rapid-fire sound on the snare; this was the inspiration for his nickname, 'Snap Crackle'.
Haynes began his full time professional career in 1945. From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young, and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet. He also recorded at the time with pianist Bud Powell and saxophonists Wardell Gray, and Stan Getz. From 1953 to 1958 he toured with singer Sarah Vaughan. Haynes went on to work with more experimental musicians, like saxophonists John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, and pianists Chick Corea and Andrew Hill.
Haynes has recorded or performed with Gary Burton, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Grimes, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Horace Tapscott and many others. He has also led his own groups, some performing under the name Hip Ensemble. His most recent recordings as a leader are Fountain of Youth and Whereas, both of which have been nominated for a Grammy Award. He continues to perform worldwide.