Trumpeter Roy Hargrove Dies Aged 49
Roy Hargrove was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won two. He is seen here attending 2013 Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Jazz Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 4, 2013 in New York – Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images North America.
Roy Hargrove, one of the most gifted jazz musicians of his generation, has died at age 49 after reportedly suffering cardiac arrest, according to music writer Chris Willman of the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety.
Besides recording his own series of acclaimed albums, Roy Hargrove became famous among urban music fans in the early 2000s as a member of the collective the Soulquarians, appearing on essential albums like D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Common’s Like Water for Chocolate and Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun.
NPR reported that Roy Hargrove, who’d been on dialysis for many years, had been admitted to the hospital for “reasons related to kidney function” at the time of his death. He had been scheduled to perform in New Jersey Saturday night.
“The Great Roy Hargrove: He is literally the one man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music,” wrote Questlove in an Instagram post. “I know I’ve spoken (of) every aspect of Soulquarian era recording techniques but even I can’t properly document how crucial and spot on Roy was with his craft, man. We NEVER gave him instructions: just played the song and watched him go.” Questlove wrote about how you can hear him and other band members screaming and laughing during a Hargrove solo on the Common track “Cold Blooded” because “that’s us MIND BLOWN… We were just reacting in real time to greatness… And a beautiful cat, man. Love to the immortal timeless genius that will forever be Roy Hargrove, y’all.”
Roy Hargrove was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won two — the first in 1998 for Habana, an album of Afro-Cuban music he recorded with his band Crisol, and the second in 2002 for “Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall,” a tribute to Miles Davis and John Coltrane on which he collaborated with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker.
Roy Hargrove advocated for a bigger audience for jazz, even when he was drawing what most in the medium would consider sizable crowds. Downbeat reported that the trumpeter refused to take accolades for filling the house during his two-week residency in January, saying: “You talk as though that’s a big deal. Back in the day, they used to play for much longer periods of time, which really helped to solidify the way the band sounded. It should be a month — it should be more. It’s not enough. Everywhere it’s not enough. But we can’t get people to really support jazz like that. People don’t come out to hear live music as much as they used to.”
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