Otis Roland Hayes Jr., 79, died on Monday, April 10, 2017 in Kansas City, Kansas.
He was born in Chattanooga, on Nov. 17, 1937. He was the eldest son of the three sons born to the late Reverend Dr. O. R. and Senna M. Hayes.
Otis graduated from Howard High School in Chattanooga in 1954 and from Tennessee State A & I University in 1958, presently Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN and continued his musical endeavors with a multi-faceted entertainment career. He began his public school teaching career when he served as the band director at Washington High School in Crestview, FL. Otis returned to Chattanooga and served as the band director at Orchard Knob Junior High School. Upon leaving Chattanooga, he served as the band director at Fillmore Senior High School in Los Angeles, CA.
Otis was regarded as a gifted “Musician’s” musician, who played several instruments. He produced and recorded numerous jazz renditions throughout his lifetime, as well as a book of quotes. Otis had made plans to produce memoirs of his life experiences with his daughter Felicia as his co-author along with his son Otis III assisting him in the publishing of several pieces of his music library prior to his demise.
Otis had an exciting and productive career as a music and voice teacher, jazz pianist and writer. He performed in various venues across the United States, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Throughout his musical career, Otis played with several notable musicians including the late Ray Charles, the late Dizzy Gillespie, the late Lionel Hampton, the late Duke Ellington, the late Count Basie, Sonny Craves and numerous other musicians and entertainers.
The most popular movie in which Otis participated was “Hello Dolly” as the pianist in the Louis Armstrong’s Orchestra. After many years of working with various groups and entertainers, Otis was content with composing, studying natural health processes, traveling and performing as a pianist/vocalist to satisfy the musical appetites of his audience.
Also preceding him in death is his brother, Dr. William Allen “Billy” Hayes, Fayetteville, GA and his maternal grandmothers, Mrs. Alice Lackey and Mrs. Janie Walker, both of Chattanooga, TN.
Otis is survived by his devoted children, Otis Roland (Ann) Hayes III, Esq., Sherman Oaks, CA, Felicia Maria Hayes, Austin, TX and their mother Christella McCline, Austin, TX and Saarah Hayes Ishii, Tokyo, Japan and her mother, Mami Ishii, Fukuoka, Japan, brother, Reverend A. L. “Tony” (Dr. Constance) Hayes of Franklin, TN., “Aunt Dot”, Dorothy Woods of Chattanooga, TN. Otis also leaves to cherish his memory a grandchild, Gianna Christella Hayes, daughter of Otis Hayes III, along with several cousins, nephews, nieces, the Howard High School Class of 1954 and a host of other relatives and dear friends.
The memorial service for Otis Roland Hayes, Jr. will be held at The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th Street (18th & Vine), Kansas City, MO 64108 on Thursday, April 20, from 4-5 p.m. with a Jazz Musical Repast to commence from 5-7 p.m.
The family of Otis Roland Hayes, Jr. would like to extend sincere gratitude to Otis’ caretaker and personal assistant, Ms. Evette Seeney, who provided assistance prior to and during his illness. The family would also like to express our heartfelt appreciation to The Blue Room and the Coda Jazz Fund for providing a musical family for Otis and their assistance to the Hayes family in this time of bereavement. Otis was a member of the “Elder Statesman Little Big Band” and was a proud member of the jazz community of Kansas City, MO.
In lieu of flowers in memory of Otis Roland Hayes, Jr. please send financial donations to The Coda Jazz Fund – P. O. Box 412116 – Kansas City, MO 64141- 2116. Donations can be made online at The Coda Jazz Fund.org.
Cremation Services provided by the Lawrence A. Jones Funeral Home – 2065 N 5th Street , Kansas City, KS – 66101 (931) 371-2822
Obituary Services provided by the Terrell Broady Funeral Home – 3855 Clarksville Pike, Nashville, TN 37218 – (615) 244-4755.
Obituary Services provided by the John P. Franklin Funeral Home – 1101 Dodds Avenue, Chattanooga, TN – 37404 - (423) 622–9995