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Roy Hargrove’s heralded young quintet will perform at the Williams Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. Cited by Downbeat as “one of the most ferocious of the Young Lions,” Hargrove has been widely praised for his “big-toned, blues-tinged” sound.

Tickets cost $18 and may be purchased by calling the Williams Center box office at 610-330-5009.

Hargrove was discovered as a 17-year-old phenomenon by Wynton Marsalis. After high school, he attended Boston’s Berklee School of Music on a scholarship. He transferred to New York’s Manhattan New School for Social Research, where he immersed himself in the music of trumpeters Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Clifford Brown.

He rocketed into touring and recording opportunities in the company of such legends as Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, and Afro-Cuban genius Chuco Valdes. Hargrove’s virtuosic recordings on RCA Novus and Verve have included Tenors of our Time, Parker’s Mood and Havana Night. In 1997, he recorded Crisol in Havana, Cuba, with musicians such as Valdez, saxophonist Gary Bartz, and guitarist Rusell Malone. Hargrove’s Quintet includes pianist Larry Willis, saxophonist Sherman Irby, drummer Willie Jones, and bassist Gerald Cannon.

“He can certainly satisfy listeners’ purely musical needs. [At 29] Hargrove has become one of the best trumpeters of his generation,” notes Nate Guidry of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Seattle Times described one of his performances this way: “Short, with a bit of a swagger in his voice and the heavy-lidded glower of an angry teenager, Hargrove hops about the stage as he plays, shaking off notes he doesn’t like, diving back in to see if he can top his last phrase with a higher, better, stronger or smarter lick. When his bandmates solo, he barks out encouragement. It seems to work. Hargrove’s [quintet] burned through the first setlike men on a mission.” The Internet jazz site describes him as an “exceptionally gifted musician with a rich tone and inventive style.”

Earlier this year, the Roy Hargrove Quintet was picked to play for the 65th anniversary celebration week at New York’s jazz mecca, the Village Vanguard, which has hosted legends from John Coltrane to Dizzy Gillespie.

The 1999-2000 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.

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