Roy Hargrove:  Habana Album Cover Shoot by Photographer Merri Cyr, 1997

August 11, 2023 - October 21, 2023
Merri Cyr

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove (1969-2018) was invited to perform at the 1996 Havana Jazz Festival. Those 11 days in Cuba had a lasting influence on his music and earned him a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. Hargrove told Peter Watrous, in a New York Times interview, published Feb. 21, 1996: “I knew there were going to be good musicians here, but I had no idea they were going to be as good as they are. The average American jazz musician can easily get lost in it all. The rhythms here are so deep it’s already left an impression on me; it has definitely changed the way I play.”

When he got home, Hargrove formed his band Crisol (melting pot) with four American musicians, two Cubans and two Puerto Ricans. Their 10 performances at Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival were recorded for the Grammy-winning album “Habana.” (Written by Robin Lloyd for Jazz Caliente

Westport Massachusette Merri Cyr met Roy in Cuba in 1997 to photograph him for the “Habana” album cover and images to promote the project. She grew up in the Southcoast, but moved to NYC to attend Pratt Institute and pursue a career in photography. She has since photographed over 100 album covers and worked for companies such as Sony, Polygram, Rolling Stone, and Apple. She recently returned to Westport after working in NYC for a few decades, and continues to work as an artist and photographer as well as promote art and culture programs and events in the town of Westport.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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