The man who wrote "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby," was born and bred in Los Angeles. Indeed, Roy Ayers is a native of South L.A. (then known as South Park). He graduated from Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High while honing his virtuosic jazz chops in the shadow of the famed Central Avenue jazz world.
The story goes that Lionel Hampton gave Ayers his first pair of mallets, a gift that sparked Ayers' adoption of the vibraphone as his instrument of choice for the next five decades. Since his debut, 1963's "West Coast Vibes," the 71-year old has released enough records to keep the staff at discogs.com in perpetual revision. A few of the highlights: the soundtrack to "Coffy," "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," "Vibrations," and his collaboration with Fela Kuti, "Music of Many Colors."