Haynes began his full time professional career in 1945. From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young, and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet. He also recorded at the time with pianist Bud Powell and saxophonists Wardell Gray, and Stan Getz. From 1953 to 1958 he toured with singer Sarah Vaughan. Haynes went on to work with more experimental musicians, like saxophonists John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, or pianists Chick Corea and Andrew Hill.
Haynes has recorded or performed with Gary Burton, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Grimes, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Pat Metheny, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Horace Tapscott and many others. He has also led his own groups, some performing under the name Hip Ensemble. His most recent recordings as a leader are Fountain of Youth and Whereas, both of which have been nominated for a Grammy Award. He continues to perform worldwide and is booked well into 2008.
His son Graham Haynes is a cornetist, and his grandson Marcus Gilmore and nephew Christopher Haynes are both drummers.
Roy's influence on the Rock world has also been apparent in recent years, with a tribute song recorded by Jim Keltner and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, and recent on-stage appearances with The Allman Brothers Band and Page McConnell of Phish.
He was inducted into the Down Beat Magazine Hall of Fame in 2004.
Haynes appeared in the game Grand Theft Auto IV, as the host of the jazz radio station, JNR.
A 3 CD/1 DVD boxed set entitled A Life in Time - The Roy Haynes Story was released by Dreyfus Jazz in October 2007. The set chronicles highlights from Roy's career from 1949-2006, including recordings with Parker, Vaughan, Davis, Monk, Corea, Metheny and his own Hip Ensemble and Fountain of Youth quartet. The set was listed by The New Yorker Magazine as one of the Best Boxed Sets of 2007, and was nominated for an award by the Jazz Journalist's Association. (source; Wilkipedia)