Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries marches to his own beat.

The musician from Pittsburgh’s North Side began playing the drums at the age of 3. He wanted to be like his older brothers.

“Music is in my blood,” said Humphries, who turns 77 on Saturday. “I recall lying on the couch and watching and listening to my brothers play. One played the drums and the other played the saxophone. I wanted to be like them. We were all inspired by our two uncles who played the trumpet and the saxophone.”

Humphries and fellow area jazz legends Earl “Fatha” Hines, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Eckstine, Art Blakey, Walt Harper, Ahmad Jamal and George Benson will be honored in the city of Pittsburgh’s virtual Black History Month celebration highlighting local jazz legends throughout February as part of Black History Month.

The event will be held virtually because of the pandemic.

Humphries will lead the group as the first one to be recognized when the website goes live on Monday. The event runs through Feb. 28.



Roger Humphries in 2014, performing at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust annual gala. He will be one of eight local jazz musicians honored during Black History Month by the city of Pittsburgh in a virtual celebration, Feb. 1

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