Los Angeles-born vibraphonist and vocalist Roy Ayers, in his fifth decade in the music business, continues to bridge the gap between generations of music fans. Recognized as a thrilling performer and entertainer, he also has been a significant influence in popular music – in several different genres.

A precocious musical talent, Ayers was playing boogie woogie piano by ear at the age of five. He was proficient on the steel guitar at age nine and in his teens played flute, trumpet and drums, before settling on vibraphone. He was to bring the instrument into the frontline of modern, popular music.

In the 60s he made a name for himself as a jazz vibraphonist and in the 70s and 80s became a renowned R & B band leader and producer. Today (2011) at the age of 70 he is known as the godfather of neo-soul and prophet of acid jazz.

For his two-nights Manchester appearance he was joined by hip hop specialist Pete Rock (beats & rhymes) and the other members of his group are John Pressley, voice & percussion, and Ray Gaskins, saxophone & keyboards.

This excerpt was filmed by Band on the Wall AV Unit on 18th July 2011.

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