Morris HayesMorris (* 1962 in Jefferson, AR) was inspired by the religious music he heard in church as a child. He majored in art at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). When a rhythm and blues band on campus lost its keyboard player, Morris, who had learned to play a bit in high school, offered to fill in. Although he was still learning to play the keyboard, he played well enough to take the spot.
After graduating from college, Morris played in churches and with various bands, moving to Chicago, IL; Memphis, TN; and then to Texas. He cofounded a group called the Bizness, which former Prince and the Revolution bass player Mark Brown heard. Brown asked the group to come to Minneapolis.
When Brown's group disbanded around 1991, Morris remained in Minneapolis. When the keyboardist for the popular group the Time quit, Morris replaced him and toured with the group in Asia. After the completion of the tour, Morris formed another group called G Sharp and the Edge. This group performed as the house band in the popular Minneapolis club Glam Slam, which was frequented by Prince. Prince signed the group to open for him on his "Diamonds and Pearls" tour in 1992.
After the tour ended, Prince asked Morris to join his band, the New Power Generation. Morris played in the band for ten years. In 2003, he left for a scheduled six-week gig with funk and soul jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker. Instead, he stayed for two years before rejoining the New Power Generation as the leader of the band in 2005.
Morris has also performed with a long list of major artists, including Sheila E., Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Kanye West, Elton John, Babyface, Carlos Santana, Kenny Loggins, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5, Ani DiFranco, Questlove, Kool Moe Dee, Sheryl Crow, Gwen Stefani, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Bono, The Edge, and Macy Gray.
Morris has received numerous honors for his work, including inclusion in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013. He is the owner and CEO of Ill Street, Inc., a music production company through which he has written for various films and television shows.
by Jimmy Cunningham
BHM Productions BHM 1007-2
recorded November/December 2004 in Bonn/Germany
Maceo Parker, alto sax, percussion
Peter Weniger, tenor sax
Greg Boyer, trombone
Ron Tooley, trumpet
Bruno Speight, guitar
Morris Hayes, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards
Rodney "Skeet" Curtis, bass
Jamal Thomas, drums
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