Andre Hayward on the Skylark Lounge with the late Margaret Wright’s piano (Picture by David Brendan Corridor)
Standing onstage with saxophonist Elias Haslanger’s native quintet, Andre Hayward preps for his second. As the 2 males end a harmonized riff on the bandleader’s “Smiley’s Stairs,” Hayward lifts his bell to the microphone to take the primary solo. The trombonist sticks near the melody at first, including slight variations, earlier than scattering flurries of notes that belie their creator’s relaxed state.
On the level all of it threatens to veer too far exterior, Hayward brings it again residence, gracefully recasting the melody and organising Haslanger’s personal break. Although there is not any reside viewers, Hayward earns enthusiastic applause from his bandmates.
“His nickname is Massive Butter,” says Haslanger about his longtime pal. “He is received this unbelievable buttery sound, large and heat and fats, however it’s not on the expense of crisp articulation. His strategy is simply great. There’s no person that hasn’t listened to him with out saying, ‘Man, this man is simply nice!'”
“He’s received this unbelievable buttery sound, large and heat and fats, however it’s not on the expense of crisp articulation.” – Elias Haslanger
“He is received a lot melody and historical past and the language inside him,” says Monks Jazz proprietor Collin Shook, whose trio backs Hayward usually. “On the similar time, he is received a lot mastery over it that it is virtually new. With that effortlessness and flexibility, he can hit anyone’s gig and match the vibe.”
The respect for Hayward’s skills earns him an enviable consumer checklist, together with Haslanger, Shook, Ephraim Owens, Pink Younger, and Mike Sailors domestically, and Roy Hargrove, Betty Carter, Dave Holland, the San Francisco Jazz Collective (with Dave Douglas, Joshua Redman and Bobby Hutcherson), the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Lincoln Heart Jazz Orchestra nationally.
“Earlier than the pandemic, he is getting calls from Josh Redman and Esperanza Spalding, and nonetheless touring with Ellington, and [doing] spot sit-ins with Wynton [Marsalis],” Haslanger notes. “He is one of many people on the town that is not simply making an affect domestically, however internationally.”
The long run Massive Butter arrived in Houston 48 years in the past. His father sang as a music minister at his uncle’s church, and he joined his siblings within the gospel group the Hayward Singers, who launched a few singles within the Sixties and Seventies.
“Gospel music was my basis,” affirms Hayward on the upstairs sofa at East Austin Piano Store, including that his mom’s brother turned him towards jazz. “Uncle Don would decide up the guitar and play tunes. He was an enormous fan of Wes Montgomery. He would additionally discuss music idea, so I used to be listening to about seventh chords, ninths, suspended chords – all these little fancy phrases that gravitated me towards the music.”
Because of his household, Hayward grew up loving music. Even so, he did not take into account changing into a musician himself till his mother satisfied him to hitch the Holland Center Faculty Band. All of the sax spots have been spoken for, so he selected the trombone.
“My mother purchased me my first horn,” he nods. “We went to a pawn store. It was a Conn Director, a used marching trombone with a copper bell. I performed on that for a few years.”
On the band director’s request, Hayward additionally picked up the tuba and euphonium, however the trombone held a particular attraction.
“It is one of many devices that is closest to the human voice,” he says. “All of it ties into rising up listening to my household sing. I used to be by no means within the pyrotechnical features. I’ve at all times tried to strategy it like a voice and tried to sing via it. It is an instrument of the ear, so it actually challenges you and retains you humble.”
“[Trombone’s] one of many devices that’s closest to the human voice,” says Hayward. “I’ve at all times tried to strategy it like a voice and tried to sing via it. It’s an instrument of the ear, so it actually challenges you and retains you humble.”
Hayward went on to Houston’s Kinder Excessive Faculty for the Performing and Visible Arts, alma mater of his dad and mom, aunts and uncles, and residential to the beloved Kashmere Stage Band (revisit “Kismet in Kashmere,” Screens, Mar. 12, 2010). Though he performed in each the jazz and wind ensembles, he stayed solely a year-and-a-half. Throughout his keep, he managed to check with the varsity’s famed band director and Kashmere founder Conrad Johnson.
“I used to be cuttin’ up in school [laughs], not getting my teachers collectively, as a result of I used to be spending a lot time within the music space,” admits Hayward. “So I needed to depart and go to Furr Excessive Faculty, however that brief time was sufficient to maintain me motivated and impressed to observe. [Johnson] gave me a stable footing on jazz vocabulary. We must write a 12-bar blues for a homework task and convey it in to the following class.
“That was once I actually began to get severe about improvisation.”
Hayward attended Texas Southern College subsequent, intent on getting a music training diploma. Destiny intervened. Following a efficiency at a Dallas highschool for a collegiate jazz competition, the trombonist discovered himself in a jam session within the lodge foyer. One other invited participant, one of many hottest names in Nineties jazz, joined in.
“I usually play with my eyes closed, however as I get down with a solo, there’s Roy Hargrove standing to my left giving every kind of compliments and reward,” remembers the Austinite. “He says, ‘Give me your quantity. I am gonna move it on to my supervisor and I am gonna name you.’ I am like, ‘Man, this isn’t gonna occur.'”
Hayward laughs, however he did not again then when two months later he acquired a summons to hitch the Waco-born, Dallas-reared Hargrove in Madrid. That vaulted the 19-year-old from native gigs to his first European tour. He additionally recorded his first album with the late trumpeter, who died from problems of kidney failure in 2018 on the age of 49. 1993’s Of Kindred Souls maintains their preliminary summit.
“I credit score Roy with beginning my profession. I really miss him,” laments Hayward.
Means Again Residence
Lured to Boston after his stint with Hargrove by the provide of a scholarship at Berklee Faculty of Music, Hayward as an alternative joined Illinois Jacquet’s large band till the saxophonist’s dying. Likewise, fellow Houstonian and trumpeter Barrie Lee Corridor Jr. introduced him into the Duke Ellington Orchestra underneath the route of the legendary bandleader’s son Mercer.
Then got here the cellphone name of which many musicians dream: Jazz at Lincoln Heart. Recruited by trombone part chief and former Austin resident Ronald Westray in 1999, Hayward joined as third chair in New York’s most prestigious standing jazz gig. Difficult would not start to explain the expertise.
“You are principally thrown into the fireplace,” says Hayward. “I’ve received Ron Westray in my ear, and Wynton pulling me to the facet, saying, ‘Cease bullshitting’ [laughs heartily]. I knew he meant enterprise, so I stated, ‘I am gonna take this music to the lodge room and get these elements collectively.’
“I liken it to grad college. You are getting your studying collectively, you discover ways to play in a piece, the way to improvise, the way to conduct your self on the bandstand. I simply realized a lot.”
Hayward appeared on 5 albums with the LCJO, together with the group’s growth on John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and the bold 12-movement piece All Rise with the L.A. Philharmonic. After seven years on the East Coast and prepared for a change of surroundings, he joined the San Francisco Jazz Collective for 2 seasons. Hayward contributed two originals to the ensemble’s repertoire, “Serene Intentions” and “Peace Providing” (see sidebar).
Profession firmly established, he moved again to his residence state the next 12 months, first to Houston to be nearer to his household, then to Austin in 2011 along with his girlfriend. Right here he discovered an thrilling scene and loads of top-flight gamers. Haslanger, Owens, Younger, and Brannen Temple made up his first core collaborators on the native scene. From the state capital, he additionally rejoined the Ellington Orchestra as lead trombonist two years after touchdown right here, touring Europe, Israel, and Japan frequently – his final touring earlier than COVID shutdown.
Hayward additionally based a residency with bassist Chris Jones on the Japanese restaurant Takara in Cedar Park and recorded the swinging 2018 album Means Again Residence, the trombonist’s first album as a co-leader.
“I stated, ‘Man, it might be nice to tour Japan once more,'” he remembers. “[Chris] stated, ‘Nicely, I’ve received household there. Possibly we may work that out.’ Subsequent factor you already know we’re making this document with Gene Centeno, an exquisite saxophonist, Damian Garcia, who’s one of many nice ones right here, and Tom Brechtlein on drums.”
No additional recordings on the horizon, Hayward continues performing frequently.
Again within the Northeast, Hayward taught at New York College, the New England Conservatory, and New York’s New Faculty of Jazz and Modern Music. Michigan State’s famend jazz program additionally counted him an educator. Not surprisingly, he joined UT’s Butler Faculty of Music for 3 years upon transferring to Austin.
After that, he grew to become an adjunct professor on the College of North Texas, and at present teaches at Austin’s nonprofit New Faculty of Music. Whereas Hayward will not land on a tenured observe anytime quickly (“I’ve by no means actually slot in that mould of college politics”), he continues instructing clinics and placing in reside residencies, together with an upcoming pair in April in Houston and Plano. He accepts personal college students and stays an advocate of on-line music instructing, giving Skype and Zoom classes since 2005.
“Andre is an enormous motive why I felt the arrogance to make information,” declares Austin trombonist Altin Sencalar, who studied with Hayward at UT for 2 years and is prepping his third album Reconnected for launch in August. “I most likely speak to him twice per week, and he most likely comes over twice a month. I nonetheless examine with him. He is positively a mentor in my life.”
Native singer/pianist Chloe Youtsey, who first met Hayward in 2017 on the Elephant Room and whose debut EP Memoir got here out final October, additionally benefited from his expertise.
“He is simply a kind of highly effective presences,” she says. “The easiest way you be taught is by taking part in, and he is not unwilling to convey folks of all expertise ranges with him to a bandstand. By advantage of attending to play subsequent to him, you are studying personability throughout the music. He has a pure dynamic that makes him an teacher as a lot as a co-player while you’re with him.”
“He is large on spreading his data to kids and professionals alike,” says Haslanger. “He has no airs about him regardless that he is extremely completed. He is a really all the way down to earth man who’s greater than prepared to play with highschool children in addition to with Chick Corea.”
Passing on musical perception stays essential to Hayward. He is fast to say his personal lecturers, together with his cousin Frank Lacy, who performed with Artwork Blakey, Houston lecturers Steve Baxter and Carl Adams, TSU professor Marvin Sparks, and the mighty Slide Hampton, with whom Hayward studied privately in New York.
“I at all times felt it was an obligation for me to provide again,” acknowledges Hayward, who calls jazz a religious journey. “It is a technique of therapeutic. This complete mission – why we observe and why we rise up within the morning excited – is so we will contact the lives of different folks. Hopefully we’re saying one thing that is logical and significant, and an individual can stroll away feeling higher than once they got here.”