Road to the Grammys: Father and son share TSU band legacy 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Kedrick Malone Sr., visits his alma mater to watch his son march onto the field with TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, he can’t help but feel a sense of pride.  The father says seeing Kedrick Malone Jr. dressed in a band uniform, like he was decades ago a as drum major for the famed AOB, is priceless.

Kedrick Malone Jr., right, said his father’s support and band legacy are what made him decide to follow in his footsteps at TSU. 

For Malone Sr., being in the band during his college years had been a defining experience. For Malone Jr., his father’s support and band legacy are what made him decide to follow in his footsteps at TSU. 

Now Malone Jr., a finance major, can be heard playing his saxophone on the Grammy-nominated, groundbreaking gospel album The Urban Hymnal, produced by the Aristocrat of Bands. 

“I never thought being in the band could take us this far,” Malone Jr., said. “The main reason why I decided to come to TSU and be a part of the band is because of my father. Growing up, all I’ve known was TSU band,” the Memphis native said.  

“My dad has taken me, my younger sister, and mom to the home opener game and the Southern Heritage Classic every year.” 

Kedrick Malone Sr., who played the saxophone with AOB, was a drum major in 1994-95 at TSU.

Malone Jr., notes flow effortlessly from the instrument as a part of the production for the songs Fly, Dance Revival, and Alma Mater, on the 10-track album.

The historic album also features several gospel icons in the music industry. The AOB album is the first collegiate marching band in history of the Grammys to receive a nomination.

Malone described the production of the album as ‘unbelievable.’ 

It was surreal,” he said. “All the different icons and getting to work with them. Being able to say that we are the first … we are making history. This is something no one can take away from us.” 

His father Malone Sr., who was an AOB drum major in 1994-95, said seeing his own son carrying on the tradition, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of legacy.

Kedrick Malone Jr., performing in Fall 2022 parade with AOB.

“It was perfect to pass what I learned and experienced to him and talk about the tradition, our sound and who we are,” Malone Sr., said. 

Malone Sr., who also plays the saxophone, noted that performing with the band was one of his best experiences. He is proud of the quality sounds the band has produced over the years and for being recognized for a Grammy nomination.  

The Grammys will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at Arena in Los Angeles, California. Listen to The Urban Hymnal album on music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, YouTube, and or Spotify.