Keyon Harrold

Keyon Harrold was raised in Ferguson, MO. This is the St. Louis suburb that exploded into America’s consciousness with the shooting of Michael Brown by police officers and the subsequent bitter protests. Harrold’s album The Mugician features Ferguson prominently, but it also examines the troubled times of our country through a wider lens than any single tragedy. The music is cinematic and sweeping and draws from elements of jazz, classicalval, rock, blues and hip hop to make something unique and unmistakably American. PharoaheMonch, Gary Clark, Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Guy Torry, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Robert Glasper are some of the guests. However, the record is unified and cohesive due to Harrold’s exceptional skills as a trumpeter, songwriter, and his unwavering belief in better days ahead. Harrold was one of 16 children born in a family that valued music and community. His grandfather, a former police officer, retired to start a drum and bugle band for the local youth. Both of his parents were pastors and almost all his siblings perform and sing music today. Harrold was 18 when he fled Ferguson to New York City to study at The New School. He landed his first major gig in New York with Common. This experience, Harrold says, broadened his musical horizons beyond just jazz and opened him up to Afrobeat, R, and Funk.

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