About Rudy Royston

A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Rudy Royston was raised in Denver, Colorado. He began playing drums and percussion as a toddler, often playing in church and along with an eclectic array of LPs at home. Rudy’s older siblings avidly listened to all genres of music. His mother strongly supported the arts and his father worked as the supervisor of shipping at a children’s percussion instrument company. His father would often bring home slightly damaged percussion instruments, resulting in a childhood surrounded by bongos, rhythm sticks, xylophones, recorders, metallophones, glockenspiels, and drums. In the fourth grade, Rudy began to study music formally as a result of his mother’s ceaseless support. He continued to study music through high school, studying percussion as well as the viola and tenor saxophone.

While a sophomore in high school, Rudy attended the Telluride Jazz Camp in Colorado on scholarship and studied jazz drum set with Duffy Jackson and Ed Soph. This experience inspired Rudy to pursue music for the rest of his life. He began studying classical and jazz repertoire, as well as marching band percussion, and achieved membership into elite city and state-wide high school ensembles. Rudy went on to study marching band percussion, classical percussion and jazz performance at the University of Northern Colorado, Metropolitan State College of Denver, and University of Denver. Rudy graduated with honors from Denver University, where he received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Poetry. He later received K-12 teaching credentials from Metropolitan State College of Denver and taught music for 10 years in public schools before relocating to the east coast in 2006.

While in college, Rudy began playing with trumpeter Ron Miles, whom Rudy deems his greatest teacher and music mentor. Rudy also performed with artists in the gospel, alternative rock and jazz scenes including Fred Fuller, Dale Bruning, Laura Newman, Fred Hess, Dotsero, Leslie Drayton, Joe Keel, Nelson Rangell and Bill Frisell. In 2006, Rudy began his graduate studies in music at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he studied with jazz drummer Victor Lewis. He quickly integrated into New York’s creative music scene, and has since performed with world-renowned artists including Les McCann, Dave Douglas, Ben Allison, Jason Moran, JD Allen, Sean Jones, Greg Osby, Jennifer Holiday, Tia Fuller, Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Bowen, Bruce Barth, George Colligan, Don Byron, Tom Harrell, John Ellis, John Patitucci, Jenny Scheinman and the Mingus Big Band, and many others. A lover of all genres of music, Rudy continues to expand his horizons as he gains increasing recognition in the world of jazz.

303, Rudy’s first recording for Greenleaf Music, was released in February 2014.

“a first-tier talent”
-Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“an ambitious and infectious debut”
-Frank Alkyer, DownBeat Magazine

“No single mood, idea or direction dominates on 303, and that’s what’s so refreshing. So many albums tend to be created with tunnel vision, but 303 is more of a panoramic construct.”
-Dan Bilawsky, AllAboutJazz.com

Rudy Royston Discography

Rise of Orion
2016 Greenleaf Music

2014 Greenleaf Music




In this episode Dave and Michael talk with drummer Rudy Royston about his new recording “303” on Greenleaf Music. They also talk about composing, playing in different groups and many other topics. Drummond appears for a call about metal and Periphery. And more.