Roy Hargrove, the 49-year-old legendary jazz player, died on Friday in New York City, just a few weeks after celebrating his birthday. His manager, Larry Clothier, said to NPR that Roy died after suffering cardiac arrest.
Recently, the trumpet player was hospitalized for kidney-related issues and had been receiving dialysis treatment for several years. On the 2nd of November, his team wrote a statement on Facebook announcing the saddening news.
Roy’s team said on the social media platform that Roy was known for “brimming fire and fury,” as well as balladry. Despite the fact Roy’s name isn’t known in popular culture, session musicians and jazz enthusiasts are more than familiar with his work; he’s been a part of the music scene for approximately 30 years.
In the late 1980’s, Hargrove’s career took off in a big way following his brief stint at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusettes.
During his illustrious career, Roy played alongside Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, and went on to play in more mainstream genres like rap and R & B.
He also collaborated with greats like D’Angelo, Common, Erykah Badu, and John Mayer. Describing Roy’s career as active would be an understatement, considering he has released a plethora of material over the years.
He released the Grammy Award-winning Jazz album, Habana, in 1998, and he won a Grammy again with Directions in Music: Live At Massey Hall in 2002, as well as tributes to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Many of his cohorts in the scene expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Unfortunately, Roy has run into problems with the authorities several times. In May of 2014, Hargrove admitted to having cocaine on his person, when the police caught him with four glassines of the narcotic. Judge Neil Ross urged him to stay out of trouble.
During his attendance before the court and jury, Hargrove shook his head “yes” as the judge told him that people wanted to see him on stage, rather than in a courtroom.
Police caught Roy in the Lower East Side of New York buying cocaine at approximately 4:30 am. Previously, Roy was charged with marijuana possession as well as driving under the influence. Misconduct aside, his legend will only grow over time.