Max Roach


At that time [1940s], no more than two Blacks were allowed to be together on the street in New York City; if there were, the police would move in and say: “Break it up, you niggers"

Max Roach,, 8 December 1978

Maxwell Lemuel “Max” Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz percussionist, drummer, and composer. Roach moved with has family to New York as a four year old. A pioneer of bebop, Roach went on to work in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history. He worked with many famous jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Theolonius Monk, Charlie Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, Eric Dolphy and Booker Littler. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992.