Lonnie Hillyer

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Lonnie Hillyer (March 25, 1940 in Monroe, Georgia – July 1, 1985 in New York City) was an American jazz trumpeter, strongly influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and other bebop legends of that era.

Lonnie Hillyer moved with his family to Detroit at age three, and began studying music at 14 under Barry Harris.[1] In 1960, he moved to New York City, where he played with Charles Mingus,[2] Yusef Lateef, and Clifford Jarvis. Lonnie Hillyer's association with Mingus lasted more than a decade, performing on records such as "My Favorite Quintet" and "Let My Children Hear Music".

In 1966, Lonnie Hillyer and Charles McPherson formed a quintet performed together during the years following. McPherson also grew up with Hillyer in Detroit. Around 1983 he and (former Monk tenor saxophonist) Charles Rouse formed a jazz quintet ("Bebop Quintessence"), with (drummer) Leroy Williams, (pianist) Hugh Lawson and (bassist) Ben Brown.

Hillyer performed live with many musicians including Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Willie Bobo, Barry Harris, Walter Davis, Jr., Abbey Lincoln, and many others.

He died of cancer in July 1985.

His son, Lonnie D. Hillyer, is a rock bassist (J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz, Maggie's Dream, Billy Joel, Gordon Gano, Bernie Worrell, Andrea Álvarez).


As sideman[edit]

With Eric Dolphy

  • Candid Dolphy (Candid, 1960)

With Barry Harris

With Yusef Lateef

With Charles McPherson

With Charles Mingus

With Pharoah Sanders

  • Oh Pharoah Speak - The Latin Jazz Quintet-Oh! (1965)


  1. ^ Chandler, Maxwell (12 December 2007). "Charles McPherson: Keeping the Faith". All About Jazz. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  2. ^ Dryden, Ken (17 July 2007). "Charles McPherson: Passionate Bopper". All About Jazz. Retrieved 25 June 2011.