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Roy Ayers
Birth name Roy Ayers
Born September 10, 1940 (1940-09-10) (age 69)
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Acid Jazz
Soul jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1962 - present
Associated acts RAMP
Website Roy Ayers' official site

Roy Ayers (born September 10, 1940) is an American funk, soul and jazz composer and vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a jazz player, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records before his tenure at Polydor Records, during which he progressed a new R&B style, slowly molding the new Disco genre.[1]



Ayers was born in Los Angeles, California[2] and grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angeles that Ayers grew up in, now known as "South Central", but then known as "South Park", was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. The schools Roy attended (Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School) were all close to the famed Central Avenue, Los Angeles' equivalent of Harlem's Lenox Avenue and Chicago's State Street. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars, such as Dexter Gordon.

Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill's 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage, which featured the songs Evolution and the underground disco hit Brother Green (The Disco King), as well as the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Loves the Sunshine.

In 1977, Ayers produced an album by the group RAMP, Come Into Knowledge, commonly and mistakenly thought to stand for "Roy Ayers Music Project".[2] That fall, he had his biggest hit with "Running Away".

In 1980, Ayers released Music Of Many Colors with the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.[2]

In 1981, Ayers produced an album with the singer Sylvia Striplin, Give Me Your Love (Uno Melodic Records 1981).[2]

In the 1990s, Ayers released several albums for the hip hop records label Ichiban Records.[2]

Ayers has founded two record labels, Uno Melodic and Gold Mink Records. The first released several LPs, including Sylvia Striplin's, while the second folded after a few singles.[2]


  • West Coast Vibes (United Artists) – 1963
  • Virgo Vibes (Atlantic) – 1967
  • Daddy Bug & Friends (Atlantic) – 1967
  • Stoned Soul Picnic (32 Jazz) – 1968
  • Daddy’s Back (Atco) – 1969
  • He’s Coming (Polydor) – 1971
  • Ubiquity (Polydor) – 1971
  • Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival (Verve) – 1972
  • Red, Black And Green (Polydor) – 1973
  • Coffy (soundtrack) (Polydor) - 1973
  • Virgo Red (Polydor) – 1973
  • Change Up The Groove (Polydor) – 1974
  • A Tear To A Smile (Polydor) – 1975
  • Mystic Voyage (Polydor) – 1975
  • Everybody Loves the Sunshine (Polydor) - 1976
  • Vibrations (Polydor) – 1976
  • Crystal Reflections (Muse) – 1977
  • Lifeline (Polydor) – 1977
  • Let's Do It (Polydor) – 1978
  • Step Into Our Life (Polydor) – 1978
  • You Send Me (Polydor) – 1978
  • Fever (Polydor) – 1979
  • Love Fantasy (Polydor) – 1980
  • No Stranger To Love (Polydor) – 1980
  • Prime Time (Polydor) – 1980
  • Music Of Many Colors (With Fela Kuti) (Celluloid) – 1980
  • Africa, Center Of The World (Polydor) – 1981
  • Feelin’ Good (Polydor) – 1981
  • In The Dark (Columbia) – 1984
  • Goree Island – 1984
  • In the Dark – 1984
  • Poo PooLa La – 1984
  • You Might Be Surprised (Columbia) – 1985
  • I’m The One (For Your Love Tonight) (Columbia) – 1987
  • Searchin’ (Live) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1991
  • Drive (Ichiban) – 1992
  • Wake Up (Ichiban) – 1992
  • Double Trouble (With Rick James) (Uno Melodic) – 1992
  • Good Vibrations (Live) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1993
  • Fast Money (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Castle) – 1994
  • Vibesman (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Music Club) – 1995
  • Nasté (Groovetown) – 1995
  • Hot (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1996
  • Spoken Word (AFI) – 1998
  • Lots Of Love (Charly) – 1998
  • Juice (Charly) – 1999
  • Live At Ronnie Scott’s (DVD Audio) (Castle) – 2001
  • For Café Après-midi (Universal Japan) – 2002
  • Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster) – 2004
  • Mahogany Vibe (Rapster) – 2004
  • Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster) – 2005
  • Virgin Ubiquity Remixed (Rapster) – 2006
  • Perfection (Aim) – 2006


External links



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