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Jazz Trumpeter Roy Hargrove Dead at 49

Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has died of cardiac arrest, as NPR reports. Hargrove has played trumpet on albums by Herbie Hancock, Nile Rodgers, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common, and more, and was the recipient of two Grammy Awards in 1997 and 2002. According to his longtime manager, Hargrove went into cardiac arrest after being admitted to a hospital in New York City last night for kidney function-related issues. He was 49 years old.

Hargrove gained recognition in the early 1990s after he was noticed by Wynton Marsalis, the jazz composer, trumpeter, and current artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, when he was still in high school. After attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music for just one year before transferring to the New School in New York, Hargrove began performing alongside jazz figures like Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Kenny Washington, and more.

Throughout the 2000s, Hargrove lent his jazz chops to countless popular R&B recordings beginning with Erykah Badu’s sophomore album Mama’s Gun in 2000. He also performed on D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, both also released in 2000. Despite his popularity with R&B artists, Hargrove remained a committed to the bebop tradition, releasing albums as part of his bands The RH Factor and The Roy Hargrove Quintet into the new millennium.

In 1998, Hargrove was awarded his first Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Performance with Habana, an Afro-Cuban project recorded in Havana, Cuba. He later earned a second Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album with his 2003 album Directions in Music, a collaboration with Herbie Hancock and saxophonist Michael Brecker.

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