The music world paid tribute to Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who died in New York on Friday, Nov. 2 at the age of 49.
In a somber tweet, Erykah Badu posted a large symbol of a heart next to Hargrove’s name while songstress Anita Baker praised the jazz icon as “Tonal, Melodic, from BeBop to Hip-hop. Soulful, brilliant, young master.”
Born Oct. 16, 1969, in Waco, Texas, Hargrove manifested signs of musical aptitude as a young child, and after borrowing an old Bundy cornet, was instructed from the elementary grades through junior high school by teacher Dean Hill, according to an online biography.
Hargrove soon became familiar with the recordings of Maynard Ferguson, Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard, and in the spring of 1987, he met the man who would galvanize his dreams of a professional career: trumpet superstar Wynton Marsalis.
When Marsalis made an unannounced visit to the Dallas Arts Magnet, Hargrove’s school, he was so impressed by the young man’s musical talents that he immediately arranged special studies for him. He also recommended the assistance of manager-producer Larry Clothier, and as a result Hargrove had the opportunity to travel to New York, Europe and Japan. He soon became a member of the New York jazz community.
After graduating from High School in June 1988, Roy spent the Summer in Europe, where he had the opportunity to play in several major Festivals, sharing the stage with musical luminaries as Clifford Jordan, Jerome Richardson or Tete Montoliu. That fall, he entered college at the Berklee School of Music on various scholarships, including one from Down Beat magazine, which had selected him as best jazz soloist of the year. In 1990, Roy moved to New York, where he enrolled in the New School’s Jazz and Contemporary Music program.
Eventually, Hargrove would go on to win a Grammy for best Latin jazz album for 1998’s “Habana,” and again in 2002 for best jazz instrumental album with “Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall,” with co-leaders Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker.
“He is literally the one man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music,” Questlove, drummer for hip-hop group and “The Tonight Show” house band The Roots, wrote on Instagram. “Love to the immortal timeless genius that will forever be Roy Hargrove y’all.”