Roy Hargrove family, estate, objects to Tribeca documentary

“Hargrove,” directed by Elaine Henri, premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival on June 12.

The family of Roy Hargrove has spoken out against a recent documentary about the late trumpet player. “Hargrove” premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this month.

In a written statement released via Hargrove’s Instagram page, the Grammy-nominated musician’s wife and daughter — Aida Brandes-Hargrove and Kamala Hargrove — expressed their displeasure with the final version of the film.

“In 2018, Roy participated in the filming of a planned documentary by director Eliane Henri in which she and her crew followed him on tour,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, he died in November 2018, long before Ms. Henri completed it.”

According to the statement, Roy himself was apprehensive about the direction of the documentary during filming. “While Roy was initially on board, it quickly became clear that this project was about the director’s vision and interests, not his,” Hargrove’s wife and daughter continued. “Roy had continuing issues with the director almost from the beginning, and unfortunately, our efforts to work with her after he passed have also failed.”

Marcus Miller (L) and Roy Hargrove perform on April 30, 2014 at the 2014 International Jazz Day Global Concert in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

In “Hargrove,” Henri and her crew follow the trumpeter — famously known for contributing to contemporary R&B and hip-hop records in the 1990s and 2000s, as well as for his on-stage wardrobe — around Italy during a European tour mere months before he passed away at age 49. The director was not permitted to capture footage of Hargrove and his band performing during the tour. All footage used in the film came from secondary sources.

In addition, the documentary does not include any of Hargrove’s original compositions. All music played by Hargrove in the film was written by other composers. Brandes-Hargrove and Kamala wrote in the statement that despite their displeasure with the film, it has some redeeming qualities.

“While the film contains some beautiful and important footage of Roy, this is not the film he envisioned,” their statement read. “However, we are happy to see Roy’s music and spirit being celebrated in any form and want to thank the musicians interviewed who shared their experiences and feelings about Roy and his music, as well as his fans for the continuing support and love they send to Roy and us.”

“Hargrove” featured testimonials and interviews with many of Roy’s contemporaries and former bandmates, including Erykah Badu (high school classmate), Robert Glasper, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Yasiin Bey — formerly known as Mos Def — and Wynton Marsalis.

The film debuted on June 12 at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

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