Roy Hargrove, a jazz musician who became known as the young face of the genre, died Friday night in New York City. He was 49, according to The New York Times.
Hargrove’s longtime manager, Larry Clothier, said the trumpeter died from cardiac arrest due to kidney complications at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He said the 49-year-old had spent the past 13 years on dialysis for kidney disease.
Hargrove was known for infusing hip-hop and R&B into his music. In the late ’90s, he worked on D’Angelo’s neo-soul album Voodoo, which won the Grammy for Best R&B album in 2001. According to NPR, during the Soulquarian era, he also worked on critically acclaimed albums Like Water for Chocolate by Common and Mama’s Gun by Erykah Badu.
Roots’ drummer Questlove, who witnessed Hargrove compose music for the aforementioned projects, shared a lengthy Instagram post about Hargrove’s impact on music.
“The Great Roy Hargrove,” Questlove wrote. “He is literally the one man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music … I can’t properly document how crucial and spot on Roy was with his craft man. We NEVER gave him instructions: just played the song and watched him go.”
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The Great Roy Hargrove. He is literally the one man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music. To watch him harmonize with himself stacking nine horn lines on mamouth 10 mins songs RARELY rewinding to figure out what he did. Or not even contemplating what the harmony was (this is up there with Jay Z never writes his rhymes territory) —-like you can hear an incomplete Dangelo song once—-like an 11 min song—-and then in 20 secs you know the EXACT SPOT ON line to bob in and weave out?!!!! I know I’ve spoken in every aspect of Soulquarian era recording techniques but even I can’t properly document how crucial and spot on Roy was with his craft man. We NEVER gave him instructions: just played the song and watched him go —-like “come back in 45 mins I’ll have something” matter of fact now that I think of it —-I was so amped to put handclaps on @Common’s #ColdBlooded @JamesPoyser and i didn’t even take proper time out to approve what he worked on, it was like I already knew. So when you hear us SCREAMING/laughing at the 1:51 mark (me/com/d/rahzel/james) that’s us MIND BLOWN at another #Game6 esque performance from Roy. And all that stuff towards the end? We just reacting in real time to greatness. Such a key component. And a beautiful cat man. Love to the immortal timeless genius that will forever be Roy Hargrove y’all. #RoyHargroveRip
Hargrove is survived by his wife, Aida; a daughter, Kamala; his mother; and a brother, Brian.