Wallace Roney Lost to Coronavirus at 59

In 2012, Crystal Roney contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in recording her brother Wallace. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about him at the time. But after doing a little research and asking few couple of musician friends about him, I was thrilled that someone of his calibre would be willing to bring his band to Los Angeles on a shoestring budget to record an album with AIX Records. In many ways, his project is unique among the 75 albums that I produced. Wallace Roney’s music is introspective, full of unique colors (including the additional of a turntablist!), and the sound of his muted trumpet is expressive beyond all measure.

As I sat yesterday evening responding to HD-Audio Challenge II participants, my wife walked into my office and told me that Wallace Roney had died in Patterson, New Jersey on Tuesday, March 31. Complications from the coronavirus took him. He was only 59 years old.

Wallace at the AIX Records session

Wallace was the epitome of cool. He wore his sunglasses on the stage at the Zipper Hall and wore a jacket with insignias and military bars. I usually manage to engage with the artists that agree to record with us but Wallace, while friendly, was singularly focused on his music — on bringing his best to our session. I actually had a better connection with his brother Antoine, the saxophone and clarinet player in the group. But it didn’t matter. When he put his lips to his horn, the sound the emerged was blissful.

A boom shot of Wallace and the band.

I’m so grateful that I managed to capture one of the great trumpet players of our time. His Blu-ray disc, the surround mixes and the intimate HD-Video, is a perfect example of what I wanted to capture on my label. It’s very sad that the world is losing so many wonderful artists. I learned jazz guitarist John ‘Bucky’ Pizzarelli also passed due to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, there will be more.

And not just artists/musicians. As I sat at the park early this morning with my face mask on watching Charlie (our border collie) search for a tennis ball, I watched an interview with a woman that had just lost her husband on my cellphone. He was only 42. A father of three, she described in detail how he went from having a slight fever and cough to receiving the last rites and dying alone in a hospital only in less than a week. How incredibly sad it was to watch and hear. We all need to be vigilant and do whatever we can to stop this pandemic. Please do your part.


Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

4 thoughts on “Wallace Roney Lost to Coronavirus at 59

  • April 5, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Cameroonian jazz funk sax player Manu Dibango also died from the Covid-19 virus in Paris on March 24th. He is among other remembered for his famous 1969 “Soul Makossa” track (later reissued with Youssou N’Dour in 1994 on the Wakafrica album). Sad days for jazz and music in general.
    Take care of youself and your loved ones.


  • April 5, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Wallace Roney just recorded with a friend in the area on March 11th and gone so soon after that. Tragic, as are the losses of Ellis Marsalis and Bucky Pizzarelli, among many others. Be well everyone.

    • April 5, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      Yep, very sad. Stay well.

  • April 13, 2020 at 5:23 am

    Querido Mark y familia de Aix Records:

    Espero se encuentren bien, saludos desde España, tengan cuidado y procuren salir lo menos posible de casa. Y siempre con mascara y guantes.
    Saludos cuidense…


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