Grammy-winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove dies

The two-time Grammy winner passes away at only 49 years of age

Two-time Grammy award-winning trumpeter and Flugel Horn player Roy Hargrove has died at the age of 49. 

Hargrove was regarded as one of the brightest talents of his generation, comfortably and effortlessly bridging post bop with Afro-Cuban jazz and hip hop. His career began to gain traction in the early to mid 1990s recording alongside saxophonists Bobby Watson, Joe Henderson and Branford Marsalis and in 1998 won his first Grammy award with his latin jazz band Crisol for an album recorded in Cuba called ‘Habana’.

Later Hargrove embellished landmark R&B and hip albums like D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ and rapper Common’s ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ with his trademark sophisticated horn licks. He was also a member of groundbreaking neo soul and alternative hip hop collaboration Soulquarians with Quest Love from The Roots, revered hip hop producer J-Dilla, Erykah Badu, rapper Q-Tip and more. Hargrove coninued in this vein musically with his group RH Factor in the mid 2000s but will perhaps be best remembered for his delightful and infectious rhythmic composition ‘Strasboug St. Denis’ from his 2008 album ‘Earfood’. 

Roy Hargrove was a much respected trumpet technician with a soulful tone reminiscent of his hero Freddie Hubbard. Recently he has struggled with health issues related to his kidneys that had forced him to cancel London dates and had been receiving treatment on dialysis for some time.

Orphy Robinson MBE said "Roy like Freddie in full flow was the embodiment of what it means to be inside the music. The purity of his tone, ideas and the spirit of adventure he brought to the stage from the first time that I saw him play, which was in a festival in Europe never left me. You felt he could do anything he wanted with the instrument. He was an avid student of the history of the music, the trumpet and the players. Mischievious, a character and always dressed to impress, He swung hard and lived his life to the fullness, with soul."

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