RIP Roy Hargrove (1969-2018)

Roy Hargrove at Brecon in 2008
Photo credit: Mick Destino

The death of trumpeter Roy Hargrove on Friday at the age of just 49 leaves the world of jazz stunned and sad at the loss of such a uniquely strong voice.

The statement on his Facebook page reads as follows:

October 16, 1969 – November 2, 2018

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the great Roy Anthony Hargrove, at age 49, in New York City last night from cardiac arrest due to complications from his valiant battle with kidney disease, according to his longtime manager, Larry Clothier.

One of the most respected and loved musicians in our New York City community and the world at large, the trailblazing multiple Grammy Award-winning trumpeter was known just as intensely for his brimming fire and fury as he was for his gorgeous, signature balladry. Over and over, his sound attested to and sanctified his deep love for music. His unselfish timbre covered the waterfront of every musical landscape. Owning his music, his sound, Roy inspired generations of musicians. He was a game changer.

He is survived by his wife, Aida, daughter Kamala, mother Jacklyn and brother, Brian.

Further arrangements will be announced as they become available.”

As the New York Times obituary points out, he had been a kidney dialysis patient for 13 years. Tributes on social media include:

Christian McBride : “I have no words over the loss of my dear brother of 31 years. We played on a lot of sessions together, traveled a lot of miles together, laughed a lot together, bickered on occasion – and I wouldn’t change our relationship for anything in the world. Bless you, Roy Hargrove.”

Ambrose Akinmusire: “Roy Hargrove was Truly and always extremely BOUT IT’. I don’t think I would be alive if I hadn’t met him when I did. I am extremely grateful I got to tell him as a grown man to his face – thank you & I love You. “

Joe Locke : “Turn out the stars. Roy Hargrove at peace. A one in a billion artist. This is a sad day.”

Dave Holland: “Just heard sad news of the passing of Roy Hargrove. What a gifted musician, what a loss.”

Jaleel Shaw: “This really hurts. Wish I got to tell you how much I learned from you every time I got to share the bandstand with you. You’ve been my hero since day one. Really going to miss you so much, man. Thanks for everything you’ve done for the music.”

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