Kojo Odu Roney: I Want to Make Them Smile When I Play Drums

[SKF NOTE: This young man, Kojo Odu Roney, is encouraging. He appears to have a very good head on his shoulders and he plays jazz well. Roney has a few YouTube videos. He’s fun to watch. Above all, he has a great feel to his playing. Kojo closes one video by saying, “I want to make the great ancestors of jazz proud of me and my development. People like Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Philly Joe, Papa Joe, and Buddy Rich. I want to make them smile when I play the drums.” ]

SOUTH BRONXArts & Entertainment
See a 10-Year-Old Jazz Prodigy Perform for Free in Crotona Park on Friday
By Eddie Small | July 23, 2015 4:43pm @eddie_small

CLAREMONT — This SummerStage performer may have mastered the drums, but he still isn’t old enough to drive.

Kojo Odu Roney, a 10-year-old jazz drummer…has been playing since he was a toddler….

Roney was able to confidently play with jazz ensembles by age 4 and began his professional music career at age 8, when he went on his first tour of Europe.

He said he instantly fell in love with the drums and aims to practice them every day….

“I try to practice about seven hours. That’s on a good day,” he said. “On a bad day, it’s about three hours.”

He comes from a family of musicians. His father, Antoine Roney, is a jazz saxophonist and his uncle Wallace Roney plays the trumpet.

Roney’s dad said he has fun playing with his son and compared him to “one of the great drummers” like Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. “He’s playing, he’s performing at such a high level, and it’s really rewarding to see that.”

But as soon as he stops playing the drums, he is just a regular kid…. [T]hen when he gets on those drums, he’s like a 40-year-old jazz cat.”

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