“Roy Ayers is the king of neo-soul music”Erykah Badu
A man decades ahead of his time, composer, vibraphonist and bandleader, Roy Ayers has made a significant impression with his contributions to American music genres funk, soul, R&B, disco, hip-hop and jazz. Beginning his career as a jazz player, Ayers released several albums with Atlantic Records before bringing his brand of soul-jazz to Verve and Polydor Records where he released a succession of landmark albums such as Ubiquity, Vibrations, Mystic Voyage and Everybody Loves The Sunshine. As his music progressed into a new R&B-dance style, it evolved into the new disco genre of the mid-late 1970’s. In 1977, Ayers had his biggest hit “Running Away”, which hit the top 20 in both the R&B and Dance charts. Roy Ayers has composed over four hundred works in his forty plus year career, which spans from the early 1960’s to present, most notably “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”, which, in addition to Ayers’ own distinctive version, has been covered and sampled by dozens of R&B and hip-hop artists, including Mary J. Blige in her song “My Life”. In addition, Ayers’ song catalog has been a deep and rich resource with songs and grooves that have been sampled and covered by dozens, including A Tribe Called Quest, TLC, MOS DEF, 2 Pac, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Jill Scott, Coolio, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, among many others. Ayers is also known as an “acid jazz prophet”, as his compositions inspired the fusion of 1990’s down-tempo hip-hop and electronica with jazz. Ayers continues to perform live with his blend of music and spoken word as heard on his most popular live club track “Poo Poo La La”, which has become a standard favorite amongst his audiences.