Harrold was born in Ferguson, the suburb that tore into America's consciousness with the police shooting of Michael Brown. His album The Mugician examines our times through a wider lens than one tragedy. Sweeping and cinematic, the music draws on jazz, classical, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something unique. Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Guy Torry, and Robert Glasper add to the cohesive record, which triumphs because he believes in brighter days to come.
Harrold grew up one of 16 children in a family that prioritized music and community. His grandfather retired from the force to found a youth drum and bugle corps, his parents were pastors, and most of his siblings sing and perform music. Culture shock hit Harrold at 18 when he left for NYC’s The New School. His first major gig was with Common, which broadened his horizons beyond jazz to include funk, Afrobeat, R&B, and hip hop. Soon he was performing with Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Eminem, Maxwell, and Anthony Hamilton.
Harrold won acclaim for his performances in Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. The Mugician’s a mix of "musician" and "magician", a nickname Cheadle gave the young virtuoso.
... thoughtful and wide-ranging compositions... Harrold's pop sensibilities and activist leanings shine through on the album, which is tied together by its catchy melodies - a rarity in critically acclaimed circles of modern jazz. - Rolling Stone
a scorching trumpeter – The New York Times