Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer, and St. Louisan native Keyon Harrold is the new host of The Next Set: Live from Jazz St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio and Jazz Weekly live jazz show from St. Louis.
Harrold officially took over as the show’s first host, Gene Dobbs Bradford, in May. After a brief encore season, Harrold returns this weekend with a first-ever two-episode show paying tribute to St. Louis jazz drummer Montez Coleman.
“Hosting a show that goes from my hometown all over the world is special to me,” Harrold said. “I can introduce all kinds of relevant jazz to new audiences and allow everyone to see the magic that happens here at Jazz St. Louis.”
Tribute to Coleman
What better way to show off that magic of St. Louis than with a tribute to a man known as much for his beautiful nature as for his music.
Harrold will bring many of the artists Coleman worked with back to the Ferring Jazz Bistro stage at Jazz St. Louis for a jam session in his honor. Artists include Adam Maness, Bob DeBoo, Eric Slaughter, Jason Swagler, Adaron “Pops” Jackson, Zeb Briskovich, Kendrick Smith, Danny Campbell, Bernard Terry, Demarius Hicks, Miles Vandiver, Matthew Henry and others.
Before his untimely death in January, Mount Coleman has won acclaim for his work with Roy Hargrove and other jazz luminaries. Originally from East St. Louis, he was also part of a brotherhood of successful local musicians who nurtured the next generation with kindness and encouragement.
Harrold witnesses firsthand the sparks of inspiration that can capture a child’s attention. Long before its current success, he was a skinny 14-year-old who roamed the St. Louis Jazz scene. He found mentors among local musicians on this stage. Now he has a chance to return the favor.
Inspiring the next big names in jazz
In addition to hosting The Next Set: Live from Jazz St. Louis, Harrold has been appointed creative adviser at Jazz St. Louis in May 2021. His three-year tenure will include regular performances, participation in the Jazz Speaks performance and lecture series, a residency, and commissioned musical work to reflect the St. Louis community in which he was brought up. .
Hailing from Ferguson, Harrold received a Grammy nomination for his trumpet work on the soundtrack to the 2014 film “Miles Ahead” starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis.
He has traveled the world and performed and recorded with renowned musicians such as Robert Glasper, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Maxwell, Rihanna, Common and Erykah Badu.
Now he’s bringing a bit of that global scene back to St. Louis with groundbreaking diaspora jazz concerts. He also shares a bit of what makes St. Louis such a catalyst for great musical talent.
show me talent
“St. Louis musicians, we come from the Show Me state. We can hear and see what’s great with sound and add that special sauce – a little bit of that muddy Mississippi water – and create something new. We we are a very proud people in this way. We take something big and build on it.
That’s exactly what Harrold intends to do as the host of The next series.
“I left a big legacy,” he said. “Now it remains to be seen what flavor I can add to it.”
The Next Set: Live from Jazz St. Louis with Keyon Harrold airs Fridays and Sundays at 8 p.m. on STLPR in St. Louis, Quincy and Rolla. You can catch the first part of the tribute to Montez Coleman at 8 p.m. on July 22 and 24. For encore episodes and more info, visit stlpr.org/NextSet.