Jazz Great Roy Hargrove Is In The Spotlight In “AfroPoP” Series Black Music Month Special

June 18, 2024

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange marks Black Music Month with the release of HARGROVE.

The film is Eliane Henri’s intimate portrait of an international superstar on what unexpectedly was his last world tour.

Executive produced by Erykah Badu, the documentary follows Grammy Award-winning artist Roy Hargrove as he battles illness to charm audiences during a European summer tour. The film premieres on Friday, June 28, 2024 as an AfroPoP special, streaming on the WORLD YouTube channel, worldchannel.org and blackpublicmedia.org.AfroPoP is produced and presented by Black Public Media and WORLD.

Originally intended as a portrait of a jazz great in the prime of his career, the film ultimately depicts the final year of Hargrove’s life. He died suddenly during filming. The documentary sees the famed trumpeter reflecting on his career and role in the contemporary jazz scene as well as on the joys and struggles of life as an artist. The film is directed, produced and written by Henri, who maintained a 28-year friendship with Hargrove. She followed him in Los Angeles, Paris, New York, Vienne, Perugia, Sète, Sorrento and Marseille for the documentary.

“Roy Hargrove was an innovative and unparalleled talent who helped jazz find new audiences at the turn of the 21st century through his musical prowess, which saw him honor sounds like bebop and big band while also merging with the stylings of hip-hop and neo-soul,” said series executive producer and BPM executive director Leslie Fields-Cruz. “HARGROVE is a moving exploration of his unique skills as well as a window into the trials and tests so many artists face. We are thrilled to have the documentary, which now stands as a lasting memorial to his life and gifts, premiere as part of AfroPoP.”

With interviews by Badu — who knew Hargrove since high school and collaborated with him throughout the course of their celebrated careers — Yasiin Bey, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Questlove, Sonny Rollins, Christian McBride, and more, the film spotlights Hargrove’s genius, his connection to the new generation of artists and his struggles.

The film won Best Documentary at the inaugural BGR! (Black Girls Rock!) Film Festival in 2022 and an Audience Favorite Award at the Pan African Film Festival in 2023.HARGROVE will have a special screening on Monday, June 24, at The World Stage, an educational and performance art space in Leimert Park Village in the heart of Los Angeles’ African American cultural community. The 7 p.m. event will feature a Q&A with Henri.AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange has helped spotlight Black art, life and culture from around the world for U.S. audiences for more than a decade. The series, which recently rolled out its 16th season, is executive produced by BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz and WORLD (at GBH) Editor-in-Chief Chris Hastings. Denise A. Greene is series director/producer, Carol Bash is series associate producer and Ashton Pina is the series writer.

In addition to its many streaming options, PBS Plus will release the season to additional public television stations nationwide later in 2024 (check local listings).To find out more about AfroPoP, visit https://worldchannel.org/show/afropop/ or https://blackpublicmedia.org/afropop/.

For more information on the film, follow @hargrovedocumentary on Instagram.

Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. For more than 44 years, BPM has addressed the needs of unserved and underserved audiences. BPM-supported programs have won five Emmys, 10 Peabodys, three Anthem Awards, 14 Emmy nominations, and an Oscar nomination. BPM continues to address historical, contemporary, and systemic challenges that traditionally impede the development and distribution of Black stories. For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org


WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examines the issues and amplifies the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multiplatform channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won two Peabody Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, an International Documentary Association Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award, two Webby Awards and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 194 member stations in markets representing 77% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT).

Find out more at WORLDChannel.org.

PBS Plus

PBS Plus is a syndicated programming service for public television stations, supplementing the primetime, daily news, and children’s content in the National Program Service, providing series and specials intended for various dayparts. All PBS member stations, reaching all available national TV households, have access to PBS Plus content. Annually, stations are provided with approximately 500 hours of programming via PBS Plus. PBS Plus seeks general-audience programs with national and regional appeal that supplement PBS’s National Program Service for primetime programming. PBS Plus series and specials range from “how-to” programs such as This Old House and food series such as The Food Principle to curated documentary series such as Reel South and arts and cultural shows such as Austin City Limits. PBS Plus also seeks out content that embraces our country’s cultural diversity through heritage documentaries and holiday celebration programs. Half-hour lifestyle series in the food, home improvement, and other lifestyle genres are also a content priority.

Photo credit: A still from Hargrove (photo credit Robert Benavides, courtesy of Poplife Productions).

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