Roy Hargrove

Class of
Jazz Trumpet Player

Grammy-winning trumpet player Roy Hargrove ’89 studied at Berklee just as his career was taking off. Although best known for his jazz skills, he excels at any genre he touches, working with diverse artists such as Angelique Kidjo, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and John Mayer '98.

The story of Hargrove’s discovery is the stuff of legend. As a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Waco, Texas, he attended a clinic taught by the great Wynton Marsalis. Hargrove so impressed Marsalis that Marsalis asked the high schooler to sit in with him at a club in Fort Worth, where he performed with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock. Hargrove subsequently played in the North Sea Jazz Festival and toured Europe before attending Berklee and then the New School in New York.

From Hargrove’s first solo album, Diamonds in the Rough (Novus, 1990) to his latest album of new music, Emergence (2009), he has been challenging boundaries and taking his listeners on musical adventures. He won his first Grammy in 1998 for Habana with Crisol, his Afro-Cuban band, and his second Grammy in 2002 for Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall, an honor shared with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker. He currently plays with the RH Factor, a hip-hop and jazz collective he began, and the Roy Hargrove Quintet. He also plays with numerous other musicians’ projects, exploring different genres in his quest to play music that is both cerebral and emotional.