Maxwell Kennedy Roach
Shawn Hook - United States
Born December 30, 1985 in East York, Ontario and raised in Windsor, Ontario, border town to the motor city Detroit, Michigan, Maxwell Roach has been blessed with the curse of filling the shoes of one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. He has never let this stop him from making a name of his own as a drummer, producer, bassist, and all-around musician. In fact, it has been just the motivation needed to propel him forward.
In high school, Roach had to be coerced into joining the Holy Names High School concert and jazz bands. Fortunately for him, becoming a member of these school bands was a game changer. Throughout his high school years, Maxwell was treating his mind, hands, and feet to the epic sounds of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Flower Kings, and many other polyrhythmic progressive rock bands.
In 2004, Maxwell was accepted to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, where he began his studies in traditional and modern jazz. At this time in his career, names like ‘Coltrane’ and ‘Miles’ were foreign to him. Needless to say, this made it necessary to learn about the history of jazz music, especially from the drum set perspective. This was another pivotal time in Max’s life. He began to do studio sessions and play gigs with his teachers and peers, leading him to eventually share the stage on a performance opening for Kurt Elling. Upon completing his diploma in Edmonton, he was then accepted into the University of Toronto for jazz performance in 2006. During these years, he studied with great percussionists Terry Clarke, Bob McClaren, and Nick Fraser, and performed with greats including John Patitucci and Tim Ries.
From 2006 onwards, Maxwell has been fortunate enough to see the world and perform with many different artists. He is currently the drummer, musical director, and remixer for Hollywood Records artist, Shawn Hook. Shawn has performed on many TV shows including the Today Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In October 2016, Shawn joined renowned violinist Lindsey Stirling as the opening act on her “Brave Enough” tour, playing venues including the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. Maxwell’s diverse musical credits include:
Shawn Hook, Kardinal Offishall, Rachel Platten, Serena Ryder, John Patitucci, Alyssa Reid, Andy Kim, Eva Avila, Ivana Santilli, Matt Dusk, Jon Levine, members of the Rolling Stones, Tim Ries, Larry Gowan, JRDN, David Restivo, Kreesha Turner, Anjulie, Robi Botos, and Divine Brown, amongst many others.
Max has also had the pleasure of sharing the stage/opening for artists including: Beyonce, Lindsey Stirling, The Roots, Raphael Saadiq.
*Photos courtesy of Svetlana Joukova (#1) and Dustin Haney (#2 & 3)