While a sophomore in high school, Rudy attended the Telluride Jazz Camp in Telluride, Colorado on scholarship, where he studied jazz drum set for the first time with Duffy Jackson and Ed Soph. It was then Rudy knew he would pursue music the rest of his life. He began studying classical and jazz repertoire, as well as marching percussion, rising to achieve membership into topnotch city and state-wide high school ensembles.
Rudy went on to study marching percussion, classical percussion and Jazz Performance at University of Northern Colorado, Metropolitan State College of Denver, and University of Denver. Rudy graduated with honors from University of Denver, where he received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Poetry. He later received K-12 teaching credentials from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
While in college, Rudy began playing with well-regarded trumpeter Ron Miles, whom Rudy deems his greatest teacher and music mentor. Now a major figure in the Denver music scene, Rudy performed with some of Colorado's finest artists such as Fred Fuller, Dale Bruning, Laura Newman, Fred Hess, Dotsero, Leslie Drayton, Joe Keel, Nelson Rangell and Bill Frisell—with whom he still plays.
Upon graduating college, Rudy went on to play and record in the gospel, alternative rock and jazz scenes in Denver and around the United States. He taught music 10 years in public schools before relocating to the east coast in 2006 to pursue graduate studies in music at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, studying jazz percussion with the great Victor Lewis. Rudy quickly integrated into the New York music scene, performing with world-renowned artists such as Javon Jackson, Bill Frisell, Les McCann, David Gilmore, Ben Allison, Jason Moran, JD Allen, Sean Jones, Jeremy Pelt, Greg Osby, Jennifer Holiday, Tia Fuller, Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Bowen, Bruce Barth, George Colligan, Don Byron, Stanley Cowell, Tom Harrell, John Ellis, Jenny Scheinman, John Patitucci, Dave Douglas, Branford Marsalis, Rudresh Mahanthappa and The Mingus Big Band, to name a few. A lover of all genres of music, Rudy continues to expand his horizons as he gains increasing recognition in the world of Jazz. You may see Royston’s performance schedule, as well as music downloads on his web space: www.rudyroyston.com.
Royston is quickly rising as a formidable power percussion source in New York City.
(Michael G. Nastos - allmusic.com)
Royston, a new name to me, is a remarkable player. To these ears, he is most reminiscent of the very underrated Cindy Blackman...In a way, he is to JD what Elvin was to Coltrane. High praise indeed, but richly deserved.
(Tony Hall - Jazzwise)
...a terrific drummer who knows how to shift and enrich rhythms through minimal means.
(Eyal Hareuveni - The Israel Festival)
Whether he's pushing hard on the up-tempo burner or adding color on a ballad, he's always musical and supportive.
(John Dworkin - All about jazz)