At 75, jazz drummer Louis Hayes shows little sign of slowing down. This Friday and Saturday, he and his Jazz Communicators will rock Bohemian Caverns with some energetic live jazz.
He has been at it for a long time now, having begun his professional career at age 18 in his hometown of Detroit. He cut his teeth with tenor saxophonist, flautist and oboist Yusef Lateef and soon found himself performing with groups lead by piano players Horace Silver and Oscar Peterson. As a side man, he recorded with the likes of saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, George Benson and Freddie Hubbard.
In fact, it was with trumpeter Hubbard and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson that the original Jazz Communicators came to be, back in 1967. Hayes talked about the inception of the group in a recent radio interview.
"The [original concept] takes a little storytelling," he said. "My brother and I were walking down Broadway one day, and I saw this club and I went in and [said] I'd like to play [here] with my group for the whole summer. It was Freddie who actually named the group."
|Louis Hayes Jazz Communicators|
|Where: Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW|
|When: 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday|
|Info: $23; 202-299-0800; bohemiancaverns.com|
However, the configuration was short-lived. The latest edition of Jazz Communicators includes such musicians as saxophonist Abraham Burton and bassist Santi Debriano. Together with Anthony Wonsey at the piano, Hayes will lead this quartet at Bohemian Caverns. There is little question that Hayes is the dominant figure here -- the combination of his stellar drumming and a larger-than-life personality keeps the group strong and in demand.
Drummerworld has placed Hayes on a their prestigious list of all-time best drummers alongside Roy Hanes, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Ringo Starr and Charlie Watts.
"For more than forty years, drummer Louis Hayes has been a catalyst for energetic, unrelenting swing in his self led bands, as well as in those whose respective leaders reads like an encyclopedia of straight ahead post-bop modern jazz," noted JazzCorner.com. "Hayes himself [is] an authentic architect of post-bop swing. ... His story, still being told, contains a glorious past, a vibrant present and an ever promising future."