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Roy Campbell Jr.

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Roy Campbell Jr.
Photo by Bogdan Dimitriu
Photo by Bogdan Dimitriu
Background information
Birth nameRoy Sinclair Campbell Jr.
Born(1952-09-29)September 29, 1952
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJanuary 9, 2014(2014-01-09) (aged 61)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
GenresFree jazz, funk, R&B
Formerly ofYusef Lateef, Woody Shaw, Jemeel Moondoc, Ellen Christi, Cecil Taylor, David Murray, Matthew Shipp, Billy Bang, Carlos Garnett, William Parker,

Roy Sinclair Campbell Jr. (September 29, 1952 – January 9, 2014) was an American trumpeter frequently linked to free jazz, although he also performed rhythm and blues and funk during his career.


Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1952,[1] Campbell was raised in New York City. At the age of fifteen, he began learning to play trumpet and soon studied at the Jazz Mobile program along with Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan and Joe Newman.[2] Throughout the 1960s, still unacquainted with the avant-garde movement, Campbell performed in the big bands of the Manhattan Community College. From the 1970s onwards, he performed primarily within the context of free jazz, spending some of this period studying with Yusef Lateef.[3] Campbell composed the film music for the documentary Survival in New York (1989) by Rosa von Praunheim.

In the early 1990s, Campbell moved to the Netherlands and performed regularly with Klaas Hekman and Don Cherry.[2] In addition to leading his own groups, he performed with Yo La Tengo, William Parker, Peter Brötzmann, Matthew Shipp, and other improvisors. Upon returning to the United States he began leading his group Other Dimensions In Music and also formed the Pyramid Trio, a pianoless trio formed with William Parker.[2]

He died in January 2014 of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the age of 61.[4][5]


As leader[edit]

As co-leader[edit]

with Other Dimensions in Music

with The Nu Band (Roy Campbell Jr., Mark Whitecage, Joe Fonda, Lou Grassi)

  • Live at the Bop Shop (Clean Feed, 2001)
  • Live (Konnex, 2005)
  • The Dope and the Ghost (Not Two, 2007)
  • Lower East Side Blues (Porter, 2009)
  • Live in Paris (NoBusiness, 2010)
  • Relentlessness Live at the Sunset (Marge, 2011)

with Joe McPhee, William Parker & Warren Smith

As sideman[edit]

with Billy Bang
with Peter Brötzmann's Die Like a Dog Quartet
with Peter Brötzmann Tentet + 2
  • Short Visit to Nowhere (Okkadisk, 2002)
  • Broken English (Okkadisk, 2002)
with Rob Brown
with Whit Dickey
with El-P
with Ehran Elisha
  • Sweet Empathy (Cadence, 1995)
  • The Kicker (CIMP, 1998)
  • Lowe Down Suite (CIMP, 1999)
with Exuberance
  • The Other Shore (Boxholder, 2003)
  • Live at Vision Festival (Ayler, 2004)
with Garrison Fewell
  • Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music, 2009)
with Yuko Fujiyama
  • Re-entry (CIMP, 2001)
with Dennis Gonzalez
  • Nile River Suite (Daagnim, 2004)
with Burton Greene
  • Isms Out (CIMP, 2004)
with William Hooker Trio with Dave Soldier
  • Heart of the Sun (Engine Records, 2013)
with Khan Jamal
  • Balafon Dance (CIMP, 2002)
with Adam Lane
  • Blue Spirit Band (CIMP, 2013)
  • Oh Freedom (CIMP, 2013)
with Steve Lehman
  • Structural Fire (CIMP, 2001)
  • Camouflage (CIMP, 2002)
with Maneri Ensemble
  • Going to Church (Aum Fidelity, 2002)
with Jemeel Moondoc
with New Atlantis Octet
  • Unto the Sun (Not Two. 2013)
with Kevin Norton
  • The Dream Catcher (CIMP, 2003)
with William Parker
with Marc Ribot
with Saheb Sarbib
  • Live at the Public Theatre (Cadence, 1981)
  • Aisha (Cadence, 1981)
with Matthew Shipp
with Alan Silva
with Stone Quartet
with Steve Swell
with Charles Tyler
  • Live at Sweet Basil vol. 1 & 2 (1984) (Bleu Regard, 2006)
with Yo La Tengo


  1. ^ Roy Campbell Jr. – Biography (2002) Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott (2000). Trumpet Kings: The Players who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. Miller Freeman Books. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-87930-600-7.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2002). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. Penguin. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-14-051521-3. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Chinen, Nate (2014-01-19). "Roy Campbell Jr., Avant-Garde Jazz Trumpeter, Dies at 61". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Bynum, Taylor Ho (10 January 2014). "Postscript: Roy Campbell Jr". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-01-11.

External links[edit]