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Keyon Harrold previews upcoming album at Seattle shows next week

Trumpetplayer Keyon Harold, portrait, Rotterdam, 2019. This image can be used for promotional publications for Keyon Harrold. Photocredit is mandatory! Photocredit: Peter van Breukelen
Peter van Breukelen
Jazz Alley
Trumpet player Keyon Harrold, Rotterdam, 2019.

Trumpeter, vocalist and producer Keyon Harrold has never shied away from sharing his feelings in his music. His new music reflects on personal and global events of the past three years, a time full of upheaval for all of us.

Harrold previews his upcoming album Melancholy Aura with his quintet at Jazz Alley Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Raised in Ferguson, Missouri, Harrold attended The New School in New York City where he was a classmate of pianist and producer Robert Glasper. Harrold was also mentored by the great post-bop trumpeter Charles Tolliver.

Perhaps Harrold's greatest claim to fame to date is as the "trumpet voice" of Miles Davis in the Don Cheadle biopic Miles Ahead in 2015.

But it's the music of his own generation that's shaped Harrold's style of jazz trumpet. A blues-based soulful blend of jazz and hip-hop, Harrold has found fans and collaborators in the upper echelon of modern pop music.

Harrold has recorded with Common, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z and broadened his musical horizons working with rock legends Keith Richards and Jeff Beck. His roles as a supporting musician have kept him so busy that Introducing Keyon Harrold, his 2009 debut, has been followed only by 2017's The Mugician.

Melancholy Aura, expected this fall on Concord Records, examines events both public and private over the past few years. Touching on romantic failures and successes, on pandemic isolation, and the continuing social struggle of African Americans, this album will surely pack an emotional punch.

Harrold's personal life made national news in late 2020. Miya Ponsetto eventually pleaded guilty to a hate crime after she attacked Harrold's son and falsely accused him of stealing her phone.

Talking with TheGrio last year, Harrold said the new album will also cover his "gaining love, losing love, finding it again...some real personal stuff." He's also hinted at a few special guest appearances, still to be announced.

In his debut as a leader at Jazz Alley Tuesday and Wednesday, Harrold will be joined by guitarist Andrew Renfroe, pianist Shedrick Mitchell, bassist Dan Winshall and drummer Charles Haynes. As for the new album's release date, stay connected to hear about it on The New Cool.

The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Washington. LISTEN ON DEMAND

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Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.