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 Friday, 31 October 2014
The Roy Hargrove Quintet at the Jazz Showcase 12/26-1/1 PDF Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Sunday, 23 December 2012

“…with a straight-ahead group, everyone has to contribute, (both) opening things up compositionally (and) keeping the program well-rounded.” -Roy Hargrove

Justin Robinson and Roy Hargrove Andrea Canter

One of the finest trumpeters in the world, Multiple Grammy-Award winning jazz trumpeter/composer Roy Hargrove has always explored diverse music, from Afro-Cuban to funk, even venturing into pop mainstream. A major force on the jazz scene since his teens, Hargrove continues to stretch his musical boundaries. A collaborator in recent years with Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and McCoy Tyner, Hargrove plays hard-swinging trumpet and lush flugelhorn. He leads his straight-ahead quintet in further explorations of post-bop modern jazz.  Hargrove will perform with his quintet at the Jazz Showcase into the new year on Wednesday, December 26th through Tuesday, January 1st.


Roy Hargrove was born in Waco, TX on October 16, 1969. Inspired by the gospel music he heard in church on Sundays and the R&B and funk music that played on the radio, Roy began learning the trumpet in the fourth grade. By junior high school, he was playing at an advanced level of proficiency.  At 16, he was studying music at Dallas's prestigious Booker T. Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Midway through his junior year, Roy was "discovered" by Wynton Marsalis, who was conducting a jazz clinic at the school. Impressed, Marsalis invited Roy to sit in with his band at Ft. Worth's Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center. Subsequently, Hargrove was able to return to the venue over a period of the next three months, sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard and Bobby Hutcherson. Word of Roy’s talent reached Paul Ackett, founder and Director of The North Sea Jazz Festival who arranged for him to perform there that summer. This lead to a month long European Tour.
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Roy Hargrove Andrea Canter


Hargrove spent one year (1988-1989) studying at Boston's Berklee School of Music, but could more often be found in NYC jam sessions, which resulted in his transferring to New York’s New School. His first recording in NYC was with the saxophonist Bobby Watson followed shortly by a session with the up-and-comers super group, Superblue featuring Watson, Mulgrew Miller and  Kenny Washington.  In 1990, he released his solo debut, Diamond in the Rough, on the Novus/RCA label, for which he would record a total of four albums that document his incubational growth as a “young lion” to watch. Hargrove made his Verve Records debut in 1994 on With the Tenors of Our Time, showcasing him with stellar sax men Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Johnny Griffin, Joshua Redman and Branford Marsalis.

Every album Roy has released on Verve has been different from the one preceding it. And the same can be said of the array of talents who have invited him to grace the stage and/or their recordings - from jazz legends Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean to song stylists Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and Abbey Lincoln. From pop veterans Diana Ross, Steve Tyrell and Kenny Rankin to younger stars John Mayer and Rhian Benson to the crème de la crème of jazz divas: Carmen McRae and the late, great Shirley Horn. Hargrove was also commissioned by the Lincoln Jazz Center to compose the piece “The Love Suite: In Mahogany,” which was performed in 1993. He is also a superstar of the international touring scene with his quintet, RH Factor and as a soloist.

In 2005, he was a featured guest with Slide Hampton and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band in bi-coastal tributes to James Moody in honor of the saxophonists 80th birthday at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and approximately 25 other concerts around the globe.  As RH Factor attests, Roy is also a product of the hip hop generation. He can be heard on a cover of rapper Method Man’s “All I Need” the album-opening track of producer Tony Joseph’s 2005 Verve project Def Jazz (instrumental interpretations of rap classics from the Def Jam label).

He has further ventured into the black pop mainstream as a collaborator with edgy soul star D'Angelo  and guest appearances on albums by neo soul priestess Erykah Badu, thought-provoking rapper Common, and English acid jazz DJ/producer Gilles Peterson.

The Jazz Showcase is now located at Dearborn Station, 809 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago. Check the Jazz Showcase website for updated information at www.jazzshowcase.com or call (312) 360-0234.



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