Remembering Roy Hargrove (1969 – 2018)

A poetic tribute to the late trumpeter by friend and jazz radio DJ Monifa Brown

Roy Hargrove (left) and Monifa Brown, late 1990s
Roy Hargrove (left) and Monifa Brown, late 1990s (photo courtesy of Monifa Brown)

Like many in the jazz community, Monifa Brown was deeply saddened by the death of Roy Hargrove on Nov. 2 at age 49. In the days following the trumpeter’s passing, Brown—who has hosted the “Saturday Afternoon Jazz” program on Newark, N.J.’s WBGO for more than 20 years—felt moved to write the following words of tribute, which JazzTimes is honored to share here.—Mac Randall

Sweet Roy

Casting eternal joy

Trumpet elations, euphoric sensations

The Vibe

We were blessed to be on the ride

Man, you took us on some trips with your life affirming riffs

Splendiferous lines replaying in our minds

Boppin’ and giving us lift

You are a Gift

Your Emergence on the scene was like a dream

Hargrove Hittin’ with a Hard Groove

Puttin’ us in the perfect mood

Laid back with the right attack

Past, present and future converging

Soul and grit

Sophistication and wit

Grace and fire

An old soul whose song will never tire

The world was your place

You carved your space

A flow uniquely yours

Your soul I did adore

Your laughter in my head forever

A smile I’ll forget never

Memories of late night hangs

Talkin’, dreamin’, singin’, schemin’

Just kids

Sneaking around the Vanguard

Up all night at Bradley’s

You taught me about Soppin’ The Biscuit

Yeah, I can dig it…

Coming of age

Those were the days

Sweet Roy

Gentle open spirit

So glad I had a chance to be near it

Your exit all too soon

Feels like the middle of a tune…

How I wish we had more moons

So much left for so many of us to say

It will have to wait for another day

We’ll uplift your memory together

You’re in our hearts forever

© Monifa Brown