Meet Kojo Roney

Kojo RoneyWith 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.

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  1. Bill Benjamin says

    It’s amazing that his feet can reach the pedals on the hi-hat and bass drum. And like Tony, he’s playing the hi-hat on all four. Whew!

  2. says

    Antoine is amazing and his son is carrying the torch. Kojo is a special boy and I am enjoying the time he spends in my studio. What more can I say , I am watching him grow and develop into this amazing musician.
    The line is,what will he be like when he’s 12. He is full of surprises.

    Lou Holtzman
    EastSide Sound. NYC

  3. Tony Burrell, II says

    Tony Williams is definitely not a bad model to emulate. It is certainly where Cindy Blackman-Santana seems to come from.with her playing as she also plays her hi-hat on all fours at times as well. This is a good performance for any drummer, regardless of age..

  4. Ken says

    I noticed this kid with Wallace Roney on the Small’s live feed a week or so ago. I wasn’t sure what not to believe, my ears or my eyes!