Photo Courtesy Tony Gieske
was born on October 16, 1969 in Waco, Texas. He manifested signs of musical
aptitude as a young kid, and after borrowing an old Bundy cornet, was
instructed from the elementary grades through junior high school by teacher
Dean Hill. 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, and later to Europe and Japan. He soon
became a member of the New York Jazz community, and under the supervision of
Clothier started recording, as a sideman, with Bobby Watson, Ricky Ford and
Carl Allen, as well as with Don Sickler's Superblue band.
Photo Courtesy Howard A.
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.
In the 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.
The first recording -for RCA-Novus- of The Roy Hargrove
Quintet (featuring altoist Antonio Hart), Diamond on the rough, appeared in
1990, and was followed by Public Eye in 1991. The summer of that year, Roy was
featured at many European Festivals, fronting an all star package, The Jazz
The quintet's third recording, The Vibe, which appeared in the spring of 1992,
was highly rated by critics all over the world, and the band toured again
Europe, Japan and the US. In 1993 tenor saxophonist Ron Blake replaced Antonio
Hart, and with Blake, Gary Bartz and trombonist André Hayward, Roy recorded his
fourth -and last- album for RCA-Novus, ... Of kindred souls.
1993, before he was 25, Hargrove was already a major star in the world of
contemporary Jazz, and was signed by Verve - Polygram, a label strongly
committed to the promotion of young talent. For Verve Roy recorded The tenors
of our time, an ambitious project featuring Johnny Griffin, Stanley Turrentine,
Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman which appeared in 1994, Family (with David
Newman as a special guest) and Parker's Mood (a collection of tunes associated
with Charlie Parker), both published in 1995
In 1996, Roy's band appeared in La Habana's Jazz Festival, where they met
pianist Chucho Valdes, of Irakere fame. Roy became fascinated with the talents
of Cuban musicians, and decided to form a group featuring both Cuban
percussionists, such as Anga, El Negro or Changuito, and African-American Jazz
players such as Gary Bartz, Frank Lacy or Russell Malone. The group, known as
Crisol (Spanish for melting pot) recorded live at the Orvieto (Italy) Jazz
Festival, and the resulting CD, Habana, appeared in the market in 1997 with an
imposing success. Crisol toured Europe in the Summer of 1997, and returned to
Cuba in the fall of the same year. Habana won a Grammy Award in February 1998.
During the late 1990's Roy has also been leading The Roy Hargrove Big Band, a
large group of young musicians he started out rehearsing a few years ago to
work out his talents as a composer and arranger.
'Public Eye', 1991, Novus
'The Vibe', 1992, Novus
'Beauty And The Beast', 1992, Novus
'Of Kindred Souls', 1993, Novus
'Parker's Mood', 1995, Verve Forecast
'Diamond In The Rough', 1989, Novus
'Extended Family', 1995, Verve
'Approaching Standards', 1993, Novus
'With The Tenors Of Our Time', 1993, Verve, SamoPal (wb)
'Habana', 1997, Verve, SamoPal (wb)
'Moment To Moment: Roy Hargrove With Strings', 2000 Verve
with Antonio Hart, 'The Tokyo Sessions', 1991, RCA
Shirley Horn, 'I Remember Miles', 1990, Verve Forecast
Shirley Horn, 'The Main Ingredient', 1996, Verve Forecast
Ray Brown, 'Some Of My Best Friends Are ... The Trumpet Players'
Oscar Peterson, 'Live At The Town Hall'
Barbara Dennerlei, 'Take Off!', 1995, Verve
T.S. Monk, 'Monk On Monk', 1997, N2K
Roy Haynes, 'A Tribute To Charlie Parker', 2001, Dreyfus
Dave Brubeck, 'Young Lions & Old Tigers', 1995, Telarc
Dianne Reeves, 'Quiet After The Storm', 1994
Oscar Peterson, 'Oscar's Ballads', 2001, Telarc
Kenny Rankin, 'A Song For You', 2002, Verve
Abbey Lincoln, 'A Turtle's Dream', 1994, Verve, Polygram
Christian McBride, 'Gettin` To It', 1994, Verve, SamoPal (wb)
Herbie Hancock, 'Directions In Music: Live At Massey Hall', 2002, Verve