The Kennedy Center

Roy Hargrove



Biography

Roy Hargrove, trumpeter, winner of the 1995 Down Beat readers’ poll and called by critics “the hottest trumpet player in the world,” was born in 1969 in Waco, Texas. His rise to the first rank of trumpeter/bandleaders in jazz began at age nine, when he started cornet study with Dean Hill. At 13 he heard saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman at a junior high school assembly. Wynton Marsalis invited Hargrove to sit in with his band four years later. Hargrove was soon playing with such artists as Carl Allen, Ricky Ford, Bobby Watson, and with the group Superblue. He attended Berklee School of Music, Boston and, at the age of 20, released his first album Diamond in the Rough (BMG/Jive/Novus, 1990). Hargrove’s career continued to flourish, with three additional recordings as bandleader: Public Eye (1991), The Vibe (1992), and Of Kindred Souls (1993), all for Novus. He also appeared on the album Live in Concert (Jive/Novus 1991) with the group Jazz Futures, featuring several other young up-and-comers such as Antonio Hart, Mark Whitfield, Tim Warfield, and Christian McBride. Three additional Hargrove recordings followed: With the Tenors of Our Time (Verve, 1994), Approaching Standards (BMG/Jive/Novus, 1994), and Family (Verve, 1995). Wynton Marsalis joined Hargrove for Family in a song titled “Nostalgia.” With the Tenors of Our Time brought Griffin the extraordinary opportunity to record separate tracks with five great tenors saxophonists:  Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman, and Stanley Turrentine. In addition to his recordings as bandleader, Hargrove has recorded as a sideman with notables Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, James Clay, Sonny Rollins, and with the group Jazz Futures. For several years, Hargrove’s own group included Antonio Hart. In 1996, Cuban pianist “Chucho” Valdes invited Hargrove to Cuba for the annual Havana Jazz Festival. Hargrove recorded Habana (Verve, 1997), featuring American, Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians (Valdes, Gary Bartz, Russell Malone, Horacio Hernandez, David Sanchez), and several of them joined Roy Hargrove’s Crisol to tour jazz festivals. Roy Hargrove performed at the Kennedy Center in 1998 as part of Billy Taylor’s Jazz series.

…It was Mr. Hargrove who dominated the set with a series of solos bursting with ideas. Simply, he’s creative…”(Peter Watrous, The New York Times)

February 2003
Photo for Roy Hargrove