Jazz Professional               


A Tribute
by Rene Laanen

It is with sadness that I inform you that trumpeter Danny Hayes died on December 10 in Calvary Hospital, Bronx, New York. He was 58. Cause of death was brain cancer; he had been in hospital since October 12.

Danny was born and raised in West Warwick, Rhode Island. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and then moved to New York City, where he spent most of his career, except for periods living in Greece.

In the 1970s and early '80s, Danny played and recorded with the Buddy Rich, Gerry Mulligan, and Doc Severinsen big bands, Chuck Israels' National Jazz Ensemble, and bassist Reggie Johnson. In large part, though, he was one of New York City's hidden jazz treasures. Nonetheless, many of us who were lucky to know and hear him regarded him as among the finest jazz trumpeters of our era. In recent years, his playing activities were limited because of lung problems.

Among the few nuggets of recognition Danny received in print was this one in Doug Meriwether, Jr. 's bio-discography of Buddy Rich, We Don't Play Requests: "The boss was Danny Hayes, an individual stylist who could blow chorus upon chorus without repeating himself. Danny's extended solo in person on a pop hit of that time (1975), Ease On Down the Road, was a treat!"

Funeral services will be limited to the immediate family in Rhode Island.

I did, in the 80's, a couple of tours with Danny in the European Shirley Bassey Big Band. Danny was a fantastic trumpet player, a great soloist and a warm person. After the concerts he always took his trumpet and was looking for jazzclubs to play with other musicians. He will be missed a lot.

René Laanen
Bass Trombonist
Trombones of the World

Copyright © 2004, Rene Laanen. All Rights Reserved.