Kojo Odu Roney
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Kojo Odu Roney

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2018

New York City, NY
Established on Jan, 2018
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"Jack DeJohnette Let Freedom Ring!"

Modern Drummer
Jack DeJohnette Let Freedom Ring!

I also like Nasheet Waits, Kim Thompson, Kendrick Scott—whew! And Jaimeo Brown. He’s a composer and a drummer. A lot of drummers write their own music now. Matt Wilson is another. And there’s Antoine Roney’s son, Kojo. He’s been playing since he was three. He’s almost like Tony Williams in a way—starting young, so he checked out Rashied Ali and me; he’s great. And Bill Stewart, he’s like family. He’s not full of himself. I love his writing. He does what he wants to do—I love that about him. - Modern Drummer


"Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Triple-header"

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Triple-header
By Geraldine Wyckoff
Contributing Writer

It’s a triple-header for Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah who performs at the Contemporary Arts Center on three consecutive nights, Wednesday, February 21 through Friday, February 23. It looks like the number three could be in the stars for this talented trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer who released an impressive and ambitious series of albums in 2017 collectively titled “Centennial Trilogy.” Several of the musicians who contributed to these works will be on hand at the shows including pianist and Rhodes player Lawrence Fields, bassist Max Moran, saxophonist Stephen Gladney and percussionist Weedie Braimah with young drumming prodigy Kojo Roney joining the group. Adjuah came up under the tutelage of his uncle, saxophone great Donald Harrison Jr. and apparently understands the importance of bringing talented up-and-coming musicians into the fold. Roney, 13, by the way, has been startling audiences and critics alike since he was eight years old. - This article originally published in the February 19, 2018 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.


"Shawn Mendes and Khalid's "Youth" Music Video Encourages Young People to Vote"

TeenVogue

Shawn Mendes and Khalid's "Youth" Music Video Encourages Young People to Vote
By Sara Delgado
November 5, 2018
Shawn Mendes Khalid


Just in time for the midterm elections, Shawn Mendes and Khalid's music video for their song "Youth" is finally here — and it features a powerful statement about gun violence and the power young people have to make change.
Released exclusively through Apple Music, the 7-minute music video is a raw and intimate depiction of recent anti-gun activism in the U.S. Opening with poignant images of shattering guns, the video continues with snippets of speeches from the March For Our Lives, including words from Cameron Kasky and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s granddaughter Yolanda Renee King, and a quick flash of Emma González's face. Cameron's voice intones, “Welcome to the revolution.”
As the song celebrates the power of young people, the video highlights real-life trailblazers, including musical prodigies Elias and Zion Phoenix, drag performer and YouTuber Clawdeena, visual artist Autumn De Forest, and fire performer Parker Clark. Intertwined with Shawn Mendes and Khalid singing, various young people show off their talents, while others stand at podiums, as though prepared to speak.
Aged 5 to 21, the video further highlights tastemakers like environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, wrestling champion Hasaan Hawthorn, ballerina Lizzy Howell, basketball player Nassir Little, Shakespearean actors Gabriel Ratner and Charlotte Reidy, filmmaker Zuriel Oduwole, martial arts champions Rayna Vallandingham and Ethan Fineshriber, gun violence survivor D’Angelo McDade and rapper Sonita Alizadeh — among many others.

Sharing heartfelt powerful images — like the interaction between drummer Kojo Odu Roney and hearing-impaired dancer Giuliana Siraguso — “Youth” acquires an even more anthemic tone. By showing this array of bold, brave young people, "Youth" becomes a call to action to use our voices and vote.

Rather directly, “Youth” invites U.S. voters to cast ballots come Nov. 6. “Our youth is our strength our vote is our voice. Go out and use yours on November 6,” the trailer for the music video instructed. As 5-year-old “superhero” Austin Perine says closing out the video, “Don’t forget to show up.” - TeenVogue


"Shawn Mendes, Khalid Grapple with Gun Violence in “Youth” Video"

Shawn Mendes, Khalid Grapple with Gun Violence in “Youth” Video
The Hieights Boston College

Guns crash to the floor and shatter in the first few seconds of the music video for “Youth,” setting the tone for the social justice focused video montage that cuts from action shots of talented youths and artistic pans of Shawn Mendes and Khalid singing against urban backgrounds.

Mendes and Khalid continue their commentary on gun violence with clips from the Washington D.C. March For Our Lives projected on box television screens stacked atop one another. Eerily timed, the video comes just two days before the Nov. 7 college night bar shooting at The Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. that took the lives of 11 bar-goers and one police officer.

“If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking,” said David Hogg, an activist who survived the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla., before the video cuts to an artistic shot of a painter in an orange haze.

The video enlists a cast of young performers who showcase their different talents as the upbeat chorus repeats “You can’t take my youth away.” The performers are united by dramatic black clothing and bright lighting illuminating dark spaces.

After nearly five minutes of dance sequences, painting, and gymnast routines, the song stops playing to give way to the stylings of pianists. The remaining two minutes and 38 seconds are spent highlighting the talents of the young performers on their own terms. One segment gives 13-year-old drummer Kojo Odu Roney a New York City rooftop solo, which he fills with a jazzy, fast-paced beat as a hearing-impaired dancer winds her way around his drum kit. Mendes and Khalid did not just recruit artists for the video—young policy debaters, activists, and scientists also make appearances throughout, each with an item that indicates their passion.

While the video is empowering for young people and Mendes and Khalid use their platforms to spotlight important causes, much is left to be desired from the video. Its intentions are admirable and ambitious, but the shattered narrative limits the connection viewers are able to make with any one story. Short clips of various performers fail to develop a meaningful narrative about any one performer, and many stories are left feeling incomplete or underdeveloped. The video aims to piece together a collective story of perseverance, but seems to exploit the individual strength of each performer in the process. - The Hieights Boston College


"Antoine Roney Quartet @ the Madison Theater, 3/12/16"

Antoine Roney Quartet @ the Madison Theater
Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

My first exposure to reed wizard Antoine Roney was on drummer Cody Moffett’s 1993 TelArc release Evidence. What stays with me more than the music on that disc (which was hellacious, by the way) was the line-up backing Moffett on his debut as a leader: Along with brother/bassist Charnett Moffett, sax fiend Kenny Garrett and pianist Kenny Drew Jr., Antoine was joined on the disc’s front line by his brother Wallace Roney – who was saddled even then with the title “the next Miles Davis” – and second-generation monster Ravi Coltrane. I distinctly remember listening to this disc and thinking, “I’m looking at the future here!” Not only has Antoine lived up to that disc’s promise by being one of the best sax players on the present menu, but he also may have created a gift for the future we’re facing now.

Put an explosive tenor player like Roney in a little black box like the Madison Theater’s performance space, and there’s literally no place to hide, for you or him. And Roney embraced that challenge right from the jump, presenting us with two sets of what I can only call “acoustic fusion.” We’re talking a boundary-breaking ferocity that wins hearts and minds even as it shatters paradigms and eardrums, and if it had been paired up with the kind of electric matrix associated with this manner of attack, tedium might have set in at the same time as tinnitus. But in the stripped-out configuration Roney brought to the Madison, the full glory of the Philadelphia native’s creative process came through in brilliant Technicolor, whether he was loving (and deconstructing) Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life,” closing out the night with a burning version of Eddie Harris’ “Listen Here” or simply firing sheets and sheets of expanding ideas out into the theater while his drummer’s titanic backing kicked the energy up notch by notch.
And let’s talk about that drummer for a minute. His name is Kojo Odu Roney, and he is a major devotee of drum icon Tony Williams – something you’d have been able to tell even if Kojo’s bright yellow kit wasn’t an exact replica of the one Williams used with Lifetime back in the day. We’re talking a simply relentless attack spurred on by the kind of energy most cities need to keep the lights on and the trains running. Along with his ability to bring the noise is a solid understanding of the kind of backing his partners need when they’re the ones that are taking the lead. Oh, one more thing: Kojo Odu Roney is Antoine’s son… and he is 12 years old. His head almost comes up to my belt buckle, and if you’d seen him playing with a friend of his during intermission and hadn’t caught the first set, you’d have no way of knowing he was the engine that powered the band for the first 45 minutes of the evening.

Now, I shudder to use the term “prodigy,” if only because that term seems to have been captured by 12-year old piano phenom Joey Alexander. It’s also a term that’s ridiculously hard to shake off. Just ask Julian Lage and Christopher Hollyday: Lage has only come into his own in the last few years; Hollyday never got free of that term, which may explain why he’s been off the radar for years now. But where Alexander gives off all the signs of your classic “jerd” (aka “jazz nerd”), Kojo just seems like a regular kid who also happens to make a drum kit light up like the Bellagio on a Fight Night. Along with the musical heritage in his DNA, he’s also receiving instruction from towering jazz elders like Al Foster and Louis Hayes. This may explain the strong sense of control and possession Kojo displays. He may love to smash and crash, but he never did anything that didn’t fit the moment at hand.

While it was great to watch father and son play together, my favorite moments were when Kojo was working with keyboardist Greg Lewis. It had actually been Kojo’s idea to add Lewis’ Hammond B3 to the mix, and that instinct worked out sensationally, because the results were literally off the scale: If the sound tech had put Lewis’ B3 at the same level as all the other instruments, you would have heard him in Cohoes, and the Madison wouldn’t have a roof any more. Lewis’ lines matched Antoine’s for both intensity and creativity, and he had several audience members hoping the Madison would bring Lewis back – preferably with his renowned Organ Monk unit, with which he’s recorded three discs.

Someone else who’s recorded as a leader is bassist Marcos Varela, whose Origin disc San Ygnacio features heavyweights like Billy Hart, George Cables and Logan Richardson. Given the musical weight his partners were throwing down, you’d think playing upright bass on this date would be a thankless job, but Varela’s foundation work was rock steady, and when the band backed off to let Varela show off his own voice, he responded with outstanding lyrics and a fat, tasty tone.

At the end of last year, I named the Madison Theater as the best concert space for jazz in 2015. The Madison’s not just about jazz, as they’ve brought in heavy people from all genres since the start of the year. But the current series of jazz concerts the Madison is mounting shows a sincere desire to expand the musical conversation beyond the tried and true, and the Antoine Roney Quartet got that conversation off to a flying start. Not only that, but depending how Kojo Roney handles teenagerdom (and vice versa), we may have gotten a glimpse of the future in the bargain. - NipperTown


"ANTOINE RONEY QUARTET The Madison Theater Albany, NY March 12, 2016"

by Joe Major

The Antoine Roney Quartet launched the Madison Jazz Series Saturday night with a concert at once contemplative and surging.

Dedicated jazz followers were witness to a program of originals in which Mr. Roney’s tenor moaned plaintively in search of the jaunty, emphatic punctuation that would eventually resolve most of the numbers. Riveted to his pronouncements was the ample dynamism of Greg Lewis’ Hammond B3 organ, utterly defining a sense of swirling, ever-ratcheting, serious commitment to motif. Marcos Varela’s articulate bass supported the ensemble with its own narrative arc, contributing a tangy, resonant voice amidst the often frenetic front line. Woven into the entire fabric was the prodigious, atmospheric splash of 11-year old drummer Kojo Roney. Roney-the-younger was particularly adept at drenching the high-octane pieces with blistering snare work.

The horn-centric, edge-of-electronica focus of this team was flush with a texture of grit, groove and epiphany. During its two-set performance this entire outfit reved along determinedly, its ultimate destination clearly located further along the distant, spacier off-ramps of the venerable soul jazz highway.

The Madison Theater hopes to tap into an audience pool long famous for its devotion to individual artists as well as the varied tributaries of the jazz genre in toto. Madison should process this inaugural as an auspicious programming count-off, right on the beat, right on tempo. Dedicated jazz hounds will ferret out, will travel, and, not incidentally, will spread the word.

Joe Major is an inveterate jazz pilgrim for whom the holy grail is always the evocative communion of impression meeting expression. Living over the border in Williamstown, MA, for thirty-plus years, he’s been the grateful beneficiary of countless Williams College performances that have arranged themselves on his ever shifting life list. - AlbanyJazz.com


"Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018: lineup"

Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018: lineup, transportation, other information
Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)-May 22, 2018
2:30 p.m. Antoine Roney Trio featuring Kojo Roney. 4:30 p.m. Morgan Guerin. 6:30 p.m. Matthew Whitaker. 1:30 p.m. The Georgia Horns. - AJC. Atlanta. News.


"Jazzmeia Horn, Dianne Reeves and more perform at Atlanta Jazz Festival"

The festival continues on Sunday (May 27) with performances from the Lao Tizer Quartet featuring Eric Marienthal, the Russell Malone Quartet, The Bad Plus and Jon Batiste with the Dap Kings. Antoine Roney Trio featuring Kojo Roney, - Jazz wclk 91.9


"Legacy Museum to host exhibit, events about legendary bassist Milton Hinton"

A current exhibit and upcoming events at Tuskegee University’s Legacy Museum will memorialize famed legendary bass player and photographer Milton John Hinton. During his seven-decade career, Hinton became one of the most recorded bassists in history, while also capturing behind-the-scenes life in music.

During the week of September 11-14, the Legacy Museum will host “Playing the Changes: The Life and Legacy of Milt Hinton,” a traveling exhibition of the Oberlin Conservatory Library. The exhibit combines Hinton’s original photographs with insightful biographical materials.

The exhibit provides an unrivaled perspective on the life and legacy of one of the 20th century’s most accomplished bass players, while also documenting the sobering racial inequalities faced by African-Americans throughout the 20th century.

The grandson of a slave growing up in rural Mississippi, Hinton knew the realities of racism. Discrimination continued during his Jim Crow-era travels with the Cab Calloway Orchestra in the 1930s and ‘40s. Later, segregation persisted when Hinton worked to break through the color line in New York recording studios.

“The title of this exhibit, ‘Playing the Changes,’ is metaphoric because Milt Hinton did just that — he played the changes of life by dealing with life in a segregated America, overcoming hardship, and being able to see America change throughout the years,” said Legacy Museum curator, Dr. Jontyle Robinson.

Through his hard work, Hinton became known as a first-call studio musician in the recording industry.

“Mr. Hinton would be one of the firsts that recording agencies would call, because he was reliable, talented and creative,” noted Robinson. “He worked with performers across the spectrum of styles, from Cab Calloway to Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Barbara Streisand to Paul McCartney.”

Not only was he a musician, but Hinton developed an interest in and eye for photography. He began taking photographs of his friends in the 1930s and, during the following six decades, his collection grew to more than 60,000 images.

One of his photographs on display as part of the exhibit is of recently deceased Aretha Franklin, during a recording session. In the photo, a confident Franklin is seen before or between a set — “serene, perfectly dressed, perched atop a stool with legs crossed at the ankles and her feet splendidly adorned in wonderful high-heeled shoes,” Robinson noted.

“Mr. Hinton reveals his mastery of the camera in the manner like no other. He was rare in that he was a master of both the musical and visual arts,” Robinson said.

The exhibit includes 50 framed black-and white pigment prints that highlight Hinton’s passion for capturing moments in history. The prints are featured selections from the Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Collection and the Oberlin Conservatory Library Special Collections.

“He captured and documented the extraordinary lives of several notable celebrities, including Wynton Marsalis and Cab Calloway — you name them, and they’re on the walls of the Legacy Museum,” Robinson noted.

In conjunction with the Milt Hinton exhibit, David Berger and Holly Maxson will show their film and lead a question-and-answer session focused on Hinton on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Thursday’s events honoring Hinton will begin at 4 p.m. with Dr. Willie Ruff’s media presentation — “A Tuskegee-trained Tailor, Mr. Handy’s Blues, a Band and a Parade” — followed by a musical performance by Antoine Roney and Kojo Roney.



“Because of the accommodation of music and the visual arts, we like to highlight interdisciplinary exhibits in the museum to educate our students. Through this effort, we hope to open their eyes to our continued history,” Robinson explained.

The exhibit is sponsored by Jock Reynolds, former director of the Yale University Art Gallery, and his wife, Suzanne Hellmuth.

“The Legacy Museum is proud to have this important exhibition, and we could not have done this without the support and generosity of Jock and Suzanne. This is a phenomenal exhibit and we urge everyone to come and view it,” Robinson said.

The “Playing the Changes: The Life and Legacy of Milt Hinton” exhibition will be on display through the end of 2018. It is open to the public without an appointment during the Legacy Museum’s normal hours of operation — Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To learn more about the Legacy Museum, visit https://www.tuskegee.edu/legacymuseum.

© 2018, Tuskegee University - Tuskegee University


"Meet Kojo Roney"

Rifftides by Doug Ramsey SOURCE: RIFFTIDES BY DOUG RAMSEY
May 27, 2014
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With hardly a week going by in which we don’t lose a venerable musician, it may be natural to wonder whether the art form will wither. That is unlikely. New players emerge and enrich the music. It is rare, however, that they emerge quite as young as Kojo Roney of the Philadelphia Roneys. He is the son of tenor saxophonist Antoine and a nephew of trumpeter Wallace. He plays drums. He is nine years old. He recently sat in for Al Foster at the Village Vanguard in New York. Although the rest of the group is muffled in this video, young Mr. Roney is not. The piece he plays with the unidentified musicians is Victor Feldman’s “Seven Steps to Heaven.”
One observer at the Vanguard speculated that Kojo Roney is channeling Tony Williams (1945-1997), who made the original recording of “Seven Steps to Heaven” with Miles Davis in 1963. It will be interesting to see how Kojo develops. - Arts Journal All About Jazz


"Legendary Drummer Jimmy Cobb Honored at SOPAC’s Giants of Jazz Nov 26"

The night will include performances by Jazz luminaries Emmet Cohen, Cyrus Chestnut, Sullivan Fortner, Roberta Gambarini, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hendrix, Victor Lewis, TS Monk, Justin Robinson, Claudio Roditi, Kojo Roney, Wallace Roney, Ameen Saleem, Evan Sherman, Tadataka Uno and Buster Williams. There will be late additions to the roster as more artists stop by to honor Mr. Cobb. In 1962 Jimmy Cobb played with Miles Davis at a Columbia High School Assembly, much to the delight of the region.

Legendary Jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb is the elder statesman of all the incredible Miles Davis bands. His inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Co. spanned 1957 until 1963, and included the masterpiece Kind of Blue, the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, Live at Carnegie Hall, Live at the Blackhawk, Porgy and Bess, and many, many other watermark Miles Davis recordings.

He did his first recording with Earl Bostic and played extensively with Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and Cannonball Adderley before joining Miles Davis in 1957, becoming an integral part of the band’s signature sound into the next decade. Mr. Cobb continued to work with renowned jazz musicians including Sarah Vaughn, Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderley, Ricky Ford, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, George Coleman, Fathead Newman, The Great Jazz Trio with Nancy Wilson, Dave Holland, Warren Bernhardt, and many others worldwide as he reinforced his reputation as one of the greatest drummers in jazz history.

Giants of Jazz was founded in 1997 by John Lee to honor Jazz musicians and to keep Jazz alive and well in the South Orange area, which many musicians call home. It was devised as a way to not only honor excellence in musicianship, but also to award those who have had an impact within the Jazz community through teaching and mentoring younger musicians. - By villagegreennj


"The Duke, Dizzy & Eubie return to Yale in film, jazz event Friday"

The 7:30 p.m. event, titled “Conservatory Without Walls,” begins with a “lost” video documentary originally created by WTIC-TV in Hartford, later to become WFSB-3. After intermission, 11-year-old drum prodigy Kojo Odu Roney will take the stage with the Antoine Roney Trio: saxophonist Antoine Roney (Kojo’s father), guitarist Billy “Spaceman” Patterson and bassist Rashaan Carter. - New Heaven Register


"Black History Month – February 2018"

Sunday, 2/11
4pm Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange — He Who Dances on Wood, Kojo, and Lonnie Holley: The Truth of the Dirt (NEW)
This short documentary introduces us to gifted 12-year-old jazz drummer Kojo Odu Roney, who reflects on his tireless work ethic, the current state of jazz music, and learning from his mentor and father, jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney. - KQED


"The Birth of a Movement: The 1st Annual New York Jazz Film Festival"

The 2016 NYJFF lineup will screen a handful of films that showcase some up- and-coming jazz-acting talents including "Kojo" featuring jazz drummer prodigy Kojo Roney (nephew of Grammy Award winning trumpet legend Wallace Roney);"Thrive" featuring blind piano prodigy Matthew Whitaker (who is also the subject of the new docu-series "Young Marvels" on the Ovation Network); and Duke Ellington Orchestra and Broadway alum Gregory Charles Royal's "World's Not for Me", which won the Harlem Spotlight Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2016 Harlem International Film Festival and whose musical score was performed by him in 1978 when he was just 17 years old as a trombonist with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Another standout of this year's festival in narrative fiction featuring a jazz musician-actor "Lunches with Mel" starring virtuoso violinist Aaron Weinstein. - Kision


"Kojo Roney"

IMDb Movie Credits

2018 Shawn Mendes Feat. Khalid: Youth (Video short) (as Kojo Odu Roney)
2017 Kojo (Documentary short)
Kojo Odu Roney - IMDb Movie Credits


Discography

Antoine Roney Trio featuring Kojo Roney (Enoit Music)                                                      Wallace Roney (HighNote Records)

Photos

Bio

Kojo Odu Roney Born June 28th, 2004, loved the drums as a baby. After birth, his mother (Nia Love) use to sit him next to the drum ensemble while she taught African dance classes in the collegic settings. Kojo loved to listen to Tony Williams and Philly Joe Jones while riding in back seat of his parents car. Father took notice of his interest and brought him a junior drumset 2yrs old. At this young age he understood how to play the drumset in a jazz setting. By 4yrs old He was able to play with jazz ensembles. Practicing daily helped him match his understanding of rhythm applying it to the drumset. By the age of 8yrs old he did his first tour in Europe, which is the start of his professional music encounters. His travels include France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and Isreal. Other countries visit includes Serbia, Germany, Austria and Poland.

Kojo shared the stage and performed with his uncle Wallace Roney, Buster Williams, Chick Corea, Hamiet Bluiett, Gary Bartz, Horald Mayburn, Rene Mclean, Darrell Green, Billy Spaceman Paterson, Rashaan Carter, Brandee Younger, Saadi Zain, Emanuel Ruffler and his dad Antoine Roney. He also performed special performances with his mother Choreographer/Dancer Nia Love. A highlight of his young time is when he hand the chance to meet and/or sit in with Milford Graves, Jazz legend drummer Roy Haynes, Louis Hayes, Grady Tate, Lenny White, Cindy Blackman and having the chance to friend The Great Jimmy Cobb.
Currently he earned the opportunity to be the drummer on his father’s latest recording project. His family is proud of his hard work and level he achieved at such a young age.



Band Members