(New York, NY): Today, Ferguson-native, New York City-based jazz musician, Keyon Harrold released his new album, ‘The Mugician’ via Legacy Recordings/Mass Appeal Records.
The arrestingly emotional and politically penetrating album is a “vibrant and wide-reaching set of tunes” (AllMusic). Packed with talented peers and collaborators from across the musical spectrum like Gary Clark Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Bilal, Guy Torry, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper, ‘The Mugician’ is Keyon’s most courageous album to date, “redefining the textures and sounds of traditional jazz” and “venturing into contrasting sonic territories” (Salon). The trumpeter’s compositions draw on elements of jazz, classical, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something uniquely modern and unmistakably American.
While some tracks like “MB Lament,” “When Will it Stop,” and “Circus Show” rage, mourn and protest, others, like spoken-word vignette “Voicemail” and “Stay This Way” celebrate the redemptive power of love, family and community — and insist upon the absolute necessity of optimism in the face of doubt and darkness. Altogether, the ‘The Mugician’ is a master study in composition, lyricism and production that offers courage, hope and warmth in troubled times.
Hailed as “the future of the trumpet” by Wynton Marsalis, the GRAMMY-winning musician was born and raised in Ferguson, MO, the St. Louis suburb that tore into America’s national consciousness in 2014 with the police shooting of Michael Brown. Intimately inspired by the trauma, grief, and rage Keyon experienced as he watched his hometown suffer and explode with violence, ‘The Mugician’ is an album deeply concerned with race, power, violence, and their intersections today in America.
His sound is both moving the jazz world forward, and indebted to the greats of the past. The improvisational genius of Miles Davis echoes in Harrold’s music -- so it’s no accident that the trumpeter was selected to be a vital part of the score and perform as Miles Davis in Don Cheadle’s Davis biopic ‘Miles Ahead.’ Keyon tells Billboard that his album title 'The Mugician' (a portmanteau of "musician" and "magician") is a nod to a nickname Cheadle bestowed on him.