J. A. Rollins, a product of the Maryland public school system, was introduced to music at an early age. After mastering the saxophone, he joined several neighborhood bands, and he started playing professionally as a teen. Though he played R&B, he was introduced to jazz by a neighbor who was a self-taught musician. Rollins earned a number of professional college degrees, but he never forgot the jazz music that had been so influential in his life.
After a successful career in medicine, he returned to his musical roots, and now he frequently enjoys leisure time in juke joints and neighborhood smoky dives, listening to jazz. His new goal, like that of Miles, the protagonist in his novel series, ii-V-I: A JassOdyssey, is to rebuild old horns, supply them to kids in the neighborhood and teach them how to play them.