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RIP: Celebrated Jazz Musician Roy Hargrove Dead at 49

The music world of Jazz has lost another young but great one this weekend.

(Complex) Acclaimed jazz musician Roy Hargrove died in New York City on Friday night, just weeks after his 49th birthday.

Hargrove’s longtime manager Larry Clothier told NPR that the cause of death was cardiac arrest. The celebrated musician was recently admitted to the hospital for kidney-related issues and was reportedly on dialysis for multiple years.

“It is with great sadness and a devastated heart that we report the passing of Roy Hargrove on November 2 at the age of 49,” a statement read on his Facebook page. “[…] One of the most respected and loved musicians in our New York City community and the world at large, the trailblazing multiple Grammy Award winning trumpeter was known just as intensely for his brimming fire and fury as he was for his gorgeous, signature balladry.”

Hargrove’s music career took off in the late 1980s after spending one year at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. He would go on to play alongside famed jazz musicians, such as Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, and Herbie Hancock, before crossing over to more mainstream genres like hip-hop and R&B. Some of his most notable collaborators include Erykah Badu, Common, D’Angelo, and John Mayer.

Over the span of his three-decade career, Hargrove released a slew of albums, including the Grammy-winning efforts Habana (1998) and Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall (2002); the latter release was a tribute to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, assisted by Hancock and Michael Becker.

In wake of the tragic news, many fans and celebrities expressed their condolences on Twitter.

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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

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