Open Space: Keyon Harrold

Grammy-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold is something between a musician and a magician. Actually, since they’re one and the same, he’s The Mugician, as evidenced by his new album, out today on Legacy Recordings/Mass Appeal Records.

The Ferguson, Miss., native sat down with MASS APPEAL on the latest episode of “Open Space” to deliver a live horn solo, talk about assisting Don Cheadle in the actor’s portrayal of Miles Davis and reminisce on the chance happening that led to the title of his latest LP.

“The idea of The Mugician came because we were sitting at a SXSW panel early in the morning, running on fumes, and Don [Cheadle] was paying me a compliment,” he remembers. “He said, ‘You did an amazing job what you did was nothing short of magic, it’s like you’re a magician.’ So, you know, that went from musician to magician so I said , ‘What, like a mugician?’ It just stuck with me.”

Elsewhere, Harrold dishes on how he helped bring Miles Davis’ music to life after being tapped by Don Cheadle—the man who played Davis in the 2015 biopic Miles Ahead—to help authenticate the role.

“I know Miles’s music—I’ve been listening to it for as long as I can remember,” says Harrold, who earned a “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media” Grammy award for his work on the film. “I can remember my mom bringing Kind of Blue home playing it in the living room over and over again, me trying to learn exactly what you play at the age of 11 and 12 years old. So that was in my DNA.”

Watch the rest of Harrold’s interview—and be treated to some horn play—above. The Mugician features Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Glasper, Big K.R.I.T. and more. You can stream it here.

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