Louis Hayes & The Cannonball Legacy Band
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Louis Hayes & The Cannonball Legacy Band

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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Louis Sedell Hayes was born May 31, 1937 in Detroit Michigan. He was always surrounded by music actually first starting with the piano, before his father gave him a set of drums at age 10. A cousin noticed his talent, took him under his wing and made sure that his approach to the instrument would serve him well. And so it did, for after developing his skills in the fertile musical ground of Detroit in the 1950's with the likes of Yusef Lateef, Kenny Burrell, Doug Watkins and others, Louis found himself at the tender age of 18 in New York as a member of the great Horace Silver Quintet. His first recording was with Horace, the classic Six Pieces Of Silver would introduce him to the jazz world as a new force to be acknowledged.

Louis continued to enhance his reputation with Horace from 1956 until 1959 when he joined Cannonball Adderly where he propelled the quintet to joyous musical heights and timeless recordings through 1965.

He joined piano master Oscar Peterson from 1965-67 during which time he and bassist Sam Jones became known as the "dynamic duo", recognized as the most powerful rhythm duo in jazz at the time.

For the next decade or more he became leader or co-leader of a series of groups which included musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Barron, Junior Cooke, Woody Shaw and Dexter Gordon. Louis also spent several years touring with McCoy Tyner. The Louis Hayes Group with Herald Mabern and Frank Strozier culminated four years of artistry with the album; Variety Is The Spice which received five stars.

Louis has played and recorded with jazz greats John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, J.J. Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Wes Montgomery, Joe Henderson, Cedar Walton, George Benson and many others.

His awards are numerous and include the Down Beat New Star Award in 1961, The Spirit of Detroit Award of 2004, and The United States House Of Representatives Special Tribute given in 2004.

Recent engagements of note include The Kennedy Center For The Arts, the JVC Jazz Festival, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the Chivas Jazz Festival in Brasil.

His current endeavours primarily involve the leadership of The Cannonball Legacy Band, which pays tribute to the gifted art form of that heritage. The latest CD, Maximum Fire Power is in the top ten highest sold offering on the Jazz music chart.
He is also focused on another great sounding high energy quintet whose latest CD entitled The Time Keeper on Showplace Records has gotten rave reviews.
Louis is constantly on the search for excellence and has other exciting projects planned for the future.