Grammy Award-winning trumpeter's tribute to Michael Brown

The Ferguson native performs the emotional track for all those "killed for absolutely no good reason"


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Rachel Leah
September 18, 2017 10:58AM (UTC)

"Music is my story, my destiny, my longing, my experience," Keyon Harrold, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter said on "Salon Stage."

The Ferguson native performed an exclusive version of "MB Lament" with jazz guitarist Nir Felder for Salon. It's a somber, emotional track from Harrold's upcoming album "The Mugician" out September 29.

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"When I wrote 'MB Lament,' I was sitting in New York City, watching CNN or some news channel, and I noticed that they were talking about Ferguson," Harrold remembered. "Which is random to a lot of people but to me, it hits home."

"When that happened, I felt like it could have been me," he said of the police killing of Mike Brown in 2014. "I was led to write the song 'MB Lament,' honoring him—but not just him, honoring all the people who have been killed for absolutely no good reason, nobody deserves that."

On "MB Lament," Harrold maneuvers between mournful, pensive notes, and chords so intense and roaring, they sound like a mother's grievous cry. "I wrote this song as a lament to all of the people who've been taken," he said.

But Harrold didn't just create "MB Lament" because of his Ferguson roots. He sees it as his responsibility as an entertainer to reflect the political times. "I'm blessed to have the microphone," Harrold said. "I feel like it is my duty, I feel like its my God-given call to say something if I see something, to say something if something's not right."

Watch the full "Salon Stage" performance on Facebook.

Tune into Salon's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage," daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon and on Facebook.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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