Jazz Musician Max Roach Gets Brooklyn Street Renamed In His Honor

A Brooklyn neighborhood has given a high honor to a jazz musician when it renamed a corner after him. If you are ever in Bedford-Stuvyesant (Bed-Stuy), you will now see a street named, “Max Roach Way.”

According to Brooklyn Magazine, the iconic musician, composer, and Civil Rights activist’s name appears at the corner of Greene and Marcy Avenues (He and his family grew up at 541 Greene Ave). The name change took place on June 19 in the neighborhood the drummer grew up in. Although he was born in North Carolina, he was raised in the Brooklyn neighborhood. He would have been 100 this year.

The renaming ceremony is a part of several events that commemorate Roach’s birthday, according to a Facebook post by his son, Raoul Roach.

“MAX ROACH WAY” stands as a testament to the enduring impact of Roach’s contributions to music and culture. This street co-naming honors not only his extraordinary talent and achievements but also his deep roots in the Brooklyn community. The City of New York and the Max Roach Family invite residents and jazz enthusiasts alike to join in commemorating the legacy of Max Roach, whose innovative spirit and dedication to his craft continue to inspire generations.”

Max was born in 1924 and was raised in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood during the Great Depression. After honing his musical skills in the Brooklyn neighborhood, after attending Boys High School, he got his first gig with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which started his legendary career.

At the renaming ceremony, Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the musician and said, “Max was basically a physician because music can heal, and there’s so much hate out there that can divide us, he had the power to reconnect us.”

The musician co-founded Brooklyn-based Debut Records, making it the first musician-owned record label that “played a pivotal role in the advancement of jazz.”

Roach worked with many esteemed artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and many others.

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