Roy Anthony Hargrove (October 16, 1969 – November 2, 2018) was an American jazz trumpeter. He won worldwide notice after winning two Grammy Awards for different genres. Hargrove primarily played with jazz luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock. Hargrove died at the age of 49 from cardiac arrest stemming from a longtime fight with kidney disease..
As the bandleader of the progressive group The RH Factor, Hargrove combined elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, soul, and gospel music. With Crisol, his Afro-Cuban band, Hargrove won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 1998 for Habana. He won his second Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album in 2002 for Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall with co-leaders Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker.
Hargrove was born in Waco, Texas and while still in high school was discovered by Wynton Marsalis. One of his influences was saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman, who performed in Ray Charles’s Band at Hargrove’s junior high school.
Like many musicians before him, Hargrove spent just one year studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music but could more often be found in New York City jam sessions. He transferred to the New School in New York. His first recording there was with the saxophonist Bobby Watson. Shortly afterwards his recording and performing career was off and running. Hargrove recorded 21 albums as leader and 50 as a sideman. I
The first of his 21 albums as a leader was recorded in 1990, Diamond in the Rough. He was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and wrote The Love Suite: In Mahoganywhich premiered in 1993.
His interests in all styles of music led him to collaborate with like-minded musicians in jazz, runk, soul & R&B, and beyond. Some notable recordings are with neo soul singer D’Angelo, resulting in Voodoo. Hargrove also performed the music of Louis Armstrong in Roz Nixon’s musical production “Dedicated To Louis Armstrong”. In 2002, he collaborated with D’Angelo and Macy Gray, the Soultronics, and Nile Rodgers, on two tracks for Red Hot & Riot, a compilation album in tribute to the music of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. He acted as sideman for jazz pianist Shirley Horn and rapper Common on the album Like Water for Chocolate and in 2002 with singer Erykah Badu on Worldwide Underground.
Thoughts and prayers to his musical family and relatives while they grieve a large talent lost much too soon.