By Sound Check

July 17, 2017

Emanuel Harrold is a St. Louis native with music in his veins. The grandson of a gospel recording artist and a drum and bugle corps leader, Harrold creates his own music while also teaching, producing and composing. The jazz/soul artist has won two Grammys for his work with Gregory Porter and has played over 2,000 shows at acclaimed venues such as, Buckingham Palace, the Sydney Opera House, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Tavis Smiley, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Berlin Philharmonic. His latest single, “Luv Hurt” is an inspirational soul track about love overcoming hardships written by Harrold and featuring Chris Turner on vocals.

“The inspiration in writing ‘Luv Hurt’ came about as I was thinking on who I was as person, what I enjoy and how did my upbringing influence me to this point. Being true, embracing what’s in front of me and giving my all has allowed me remain humble,” says Harrold. “Yet all things, situations and deals will not go your way. I say, ‘stay strong.’ Do it for the luv. Recalibrate and try again. I started writing words and eventually those thoughts became a song.“

Check out the moving track below!




Stream feature*



Recognizing Jazz Idioms in Modern-Day Rhythms


Article written by Emanuel Harrold


As I go out and listen to new music on a daily basis, I can’t help but hear the nuances of jazz music in everyday moments. Sometimes, it’s the syncopation and spacing of sounds, other times, it’s the rhythms. And, sure, I’m a jazz drummer, so I’m biased, but it’s true that jazz drumming has influenced how we use the drum kit and combine various drum sounds into coherence today. So, it’s important to reflect on those origins.

For a long time, jazz was the most popular expression of American music. The sound of jazz found its home in the social clubs, films, and juke joints from early on. Numerous artists such as Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis were just part of the many who saturated the airwaves from early jazz movements such as big band, swing, and bebop.

Count Basie sitting at the piano at the Cotton Club.

Jazz was the music in charge from the early 1900s to mid-to-late ’60s and spread increasingly out from its domestic origins into an international phenomenon throughout that time. And that’s a long time to be an influence on people, culture and art!

As for its own influences, the combined cultural lineages of African and Caribbean culture, field hollers, work songs and rhythms, church spirituals, the Delta blues, and European classical cadences are all embedded into the evolution of this art form.

At the heart of it all is rhythm.

As a key component in jazz music, one can examine the drum set specifically as a whole collection of individual percussive parts, each with its own voice apart from the collective kit. If we analyze the basic core drum setup (which can grow on and on infinitely), in looking closely at each instrument’s sound, we can imagine where it came from.

The bass and snare drums are both dually symphonic orchestral and marching instruments, often employed with European rudimental rhythms in classical music historically associated with parading troops off to war and the peacetime fanfare of marching bands. You can pronounce the sound of a basic march in onomatopoetic words as something like “Splat umm umm, doom doom.”


As the basis for many marching rudiments, one might picture troops marching along to tempos and rhythms like this one. A bass and snare drum count off would be pronounced something like “Splat, splat, da splat blat blat blat.” That’s a universal count seen commonly from classical percussion to early New Orleans drumming and marching bands onto big bands and the small ensembles of modern jazz.


Pronounced drum cadences (sung in rhythm and time) such as “chmm chmm, chmm chmm, shhhhhhhh, chmm chmmm” below and the examples given above are all good practice for tightening up the foundational rhythmic combinations inherent to any run or fill. If you can sing it — you can play it.


But how have these simple rhythmic structures evolved into the multifaceted music we often hear today in hip-hop and pop?

Early jazz-drumming pioneers such as the great Baby Dodds and Zutty Singleton,playing big-band styles such as Vaudeville and Dixieland, were key figures in blending the many individual sounds of each kit component into one. In many ways, playing like this allowed the drum set to be heard as its own complete instrument with limitless possibilities and combinations, instead of as a combo of different percussion timbres that, in an orchestral setting, would be played by multiple musicians separately. This eventually paved the way as the new heartbeat for jazz, gospel, blues, soul, R&B, rock, funk, disco, and eventually to the hip-hop, reggae, Afro-Caribbean, and electronic musical forms that are so prevalent today.

Through the use of sampling, it becomes clear how integrated jazz drumming is in the sound of contemporary music. Let’s look at Ronnie Foster’s “Mystic Brew” as an example. The first 10 seconds are classic, and if your ears are really tuned in, A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation” and J Cole’s “Forbidden Fruit”featuring Kendrick Lamar will both spring to mind as having sampled it. But the sound is also reminiscent of tons of recent songs with the hi-hat keeping time and circular bass groove.


On our first listen, we hear an instrumental organ jazz quartet, equipped with bass, guitar and drums. But it’s the boogaloo-esque, half-time, eighth-note groove on the trap kit that commands most of our attention throughout, eventually building the tempo and energy up to that driving funk beat towards the end in concert with the organist’s escalating arpeggios!

“Mystic Brew” is formatted simply. It essentially just loops around and snowballs its own momentum. And while it’s among hundreds of other jazz grooves just like it from this era, this way of organizing music around rhythmic patterns and looping progressions was quite new in the ’60s and has all but permeated popular music entirely these days, as Dean Olivet’s “Where Have All the V Chords Gone: The Decline of ‘Functional’ Harmony in Pop” reinforces.

David McCallum’s “The Edge,” a mystical, dramatic, and cinematic instrumental cut from the late ’60s, which has also been sampled pretty liberally, offers a similar point of reflection. You’ll recognize the entire intro from Dr. Dre’s immensely influential “The Next Episode” right away.


Steady rhythms, big symphonic brass and woodwinds, chunky strumming guitar, electric bass that’s moving the song along with its upbeats — it’s got it all! Listen to the orchestral-style percussive staccato rhythm of the bass drum, which gradually builds into an eighth-note groove that drives the song with help from the big, rolling tom-tom until it fills its peak.

This song was also sampled in M.I.A.’s “Missin’ Linx,” Masta Ace’s “No Regrets,” and Bronze Nazareth’s “Good Morning (A Nice Hell),” by the way.

Over time, the art of jazz drumming has been able to touch millions by evolving and shaping the genres that surround it. Jazz blends so many global genres, bridging the gap from one style to the next, manifesting with endless possibilities. Great producers and musical innovators from Dilla and Madlib, to Q-Tip and Questlove, and from Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper, to Kanye and Timbaland help to demystify the alchemy of it all coming together by bringing these beats to the forefront, but look a little bit deeper and they’ll be there everywhere, hiding in plain sight.

Music runs through the veins of this St. Louis native; his grandfather had a drum and bugle corps and his grandmother was a gospel recording artist. When Emanuel Harrold isn’t creating his own music, he nurtures his other passions:  teaching, producing and composing. He’s taught multiple drum seminars at colleges and universities including the Australian Institute of Music. After winning two Grammy awards for his work with Gregory Porter and playing over 2,000 shows at acclaimed venues such as, Buckingham Palace, the Sydney Opera House, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Tavis Smiley, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Berlin Philharmonic, and touring over 50 countries, he’s now preparing to drop his debut EP.


World Premiere: Emanuel Harrold finds a "Special Time" on cool new song



(June 29, 2017) St. Louis native and Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, and producer Emanuel Harrold is currently on tour with longtime SoulTracks fave, Gregory Porter, so he has a head start in our book. And he is a road warrior, having played in over 2,000 shows around the world.

Emanuel also has a new EP coming this Fall that we can’t wait to hear. In the meantime, he is gracing us all with a brand new single that features singer and trombonist, Saunders Sermons II. “Special Time” seamlessly blends elements of soul and jazz to give a cool vibe that will work on just about any Summer day.

Emanuel tells us, "’Special Time’ for me is an idea of the occupation united space. Pursuing harmony, understanding, and living in unique moments. Two totally different people sharing one common idea: love. The concept for the video came about as I was walking, and I began thinking about ants working, creating, existing---really abstract but that came to mind. Everyday routines creating and making their existence an effective reality. Also, the combination of my extensive touring schedule being away from loved ones fueled words which turned into a song. I wanted to approach the visual on a basic 2D level so that both adult and youth can get the message. The storyline takes you along a simple journey throughout my day." 

We’re proud to present the WORLD PREMIERE of the animated music video for “Special Time.” Check it out below and welcome Emanuel Harrold to the SoulTracks family!


world premiere: special time | emanuel harrold ft. saunders sermon II

Grammy Award-winner Emanuel Harrold has received multiple acclaim for his work with Gregory Porter’s band as a drummer, but he’s stepping out as a solo artist with a single out called “Special Time” ft. Saunders Sermons II, a smooth, jazzy offering in the name of love.

When he isn’t creating his own music, he nurtures his other passions:  teaching, producing and composing. He’s taught multiple drum seminars at colleges and universities including the Australian Institute of Music.

Check out Emanuel’s lauded drumming ability HERE and listen to “Special Time” below:


Well-versed in playing live shows, Harrold has performed at Buckingham Palace, the Sydney Opera House, the Berlin Philharmonic and more. Catch him on tour this summer in Europe and North America with Gregory Porter HERE. 


Read more: https://singersroom.com/content/2017-06-12/emanuel-harrold-special-time-ft-saunders-sermon-ii/#ixzz4yZHZEVUR 
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Emanuel Harrold – A Visionary Drummer Making Music For A Bigger Purpose

Posted on 15 June 2017 by SSB



Time flies and so does the plane.

High and far in the sky, aside of the brightest stars (of jazz)

In his mind, he keeps praising the most precious times spent with his loved-ones

In his mind, he keeps praying for that time he’ll be home again, with friends and family… 

And you can read in the glaze of his eyes,

How much he’s looking forward to that Special Time.

This is while touring with Gregory Porter, that Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, and producer Emanuel Harrold releases his new single, Special Time. 

Inspired by the distance that keeps him away from home.

The track features Saunders Sermons II, Grammy Award Winning Trombonist & vocalist, who’s worked with Maxwell, Jay Z, Diddy, and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

This is the second single, after True Needuplifting Rap/Jazz song, fusing smooth Jazz with old school rap flow and meaningful lyrics on Black History, Faith, Freedom and Truth, straight from Harrold’s forthcoming EP, set to drop in the Fall.


Emanuel Harold has always been conscious about the story of his community,

As he enjoys Jazz’ inheritance and shares it with his listeners from his experience, with the will to inspire.

He’s dedicated to his city, as implies one of his most uplifting singles, titled In My City.


“America’s true classical music is jazz. It perfectly expresses what we have gone through as a people in this country.” As he states for magazine STL.


Just like Gregory Porter, Harrold’s music brings you something even spiritual, for his goal seems to make music that’s bigger than him – “no man is bigger than Human”.

For Special Time, the listener can feel every piece of this track, blended with neo-soul flavors, felt in Saunders’ vocals, and a tastes for hip-hop, felt along the groove of the bass line and the play of drums. Harrold is from that new school jazz style, that’ll mix hints of Gospel, neo-soul and hip-hop.

The mellow tuning produces a soothing atmosphere and instruments actually translates the melting feelings of the composer ; the of trombone sounds like a sigh, longing for home and love.

Before the release of the EP, Harrold is currently on tour with fellow Grammy winner,Gregory Porter who recently came in Lyon, France, at Le Radiant, with a band previously discovered on Sounds So Beautiful, Uptown Lovers, as the opening act.

The interesting point about the fact that he came to Lyon, is that this place attracts a whole lot of inspiring musicians:

Last year, we met and interviewed Ryan Kilgore, discovered as Stevie Wonder’s saxophonist.

What is more, this year, drummers and other instrumentalists had the chance to attend acclaimed drummer Aaron Spears in Lyon too.

The common point with Kilgore, Spears and Harrold, is that they all consider their music as bigger than themselves, and that their purpose is to teach and share their knowledge and passion about music and a career with the Youth.


He’s taught multiple drum seminars at colleges and universities including the Australian Institute of Music.

Harrold’s mission is to nurture the Desire of a better Tomorow in opportunities for youth, music and business , as he says on Twitter.

That’s why you can see him giving master classes and running drums clinics, where he can share the way he sees music.

One thing striking is the way he’s connected to the ones he’s playing with – he knows Gregory Porter for years – and his tuning made in a way to best support and follow the vocalist, even highlight and embellish the words and emotions.

Working with Porter and contributing to let him win the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album is a significant proof.


Music runs through the veins of this St. Louis native; his grandfather had a drum and bugle corps and his grandmother was a gospel recording artist.

After winning two Grammy awards for his work with Gregory Porter and playing over 2,000 shows at acclaimed venues such as, Buckingham Palace, the Sydney Opera House, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Tavis Smiley, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Berlin Philharmonic, and touring over 50 countries.

He’s now preparing to drop his debut EP.

Keep up with Emanuel Harrold as he continues to release more music and tour across North America and Europe!



Home / Music / Artist Interviews / INTERVIEW: Emanuel Harrold

INTERVIEW: Emanuel Harrold

RJ Frometa June 6, 2017 Artist Interviews Leave a comment 47 Views

Hi Emanuel, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello VENTS, Thanks for having me. I am well considering facing life’s challenges everyday. I’m making music, my family is well and meeting new cool people everyday..

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Special Time (ft. Saunders Sermons II)”?

I have a new single out now featuring a long time friend and multitalented and Grammy Award-winning musician Saunders Sermons II. We worked all over the world together and it was time that I wrote something we could collaborate on.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

What inspired this song was the event of pursuing Love more deeply. It’s the idea of going from independent to partnering up. 2 Hearts are stronger together than one in my opinion..

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I’m glad you ask, I am excited to let the world know that an animated lyric video will be releasing very soon. It really captures the story in detail.

How was the recording and writing process?

Special Time came about during an extensive touring period with Gregory Porter and I was missing family and feeling the distance from home.

I was listening to lots of old school soul music and the words just came to me. The music came as I wrote the lyrics. Recording with my busy schedule was the most difficult as I’m on the road for approximately 280 days of the year.

After getting all the parts replayed by amazing musicians such as Rocco Palladino on bass (D’Angelo) Cory James (keys)  & Andrew Bailie on guitar (Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles)  along with my scratch vocals,  It was ready to send to Someone that can really bring it to life vocally…

What was it like to work with Saunders Sermons II and how did he come on board?

It was very easy and creative to work with a professional such as Saunders.  He was down with my approach from a producing stand point and really nailed it. The thing about working with great musicians is they always put their stamp on your direction. Saunders Sermons II was the man I new could pull Special Time off into the right vibes and direction.

How your upbringing has influenced your music?

The influence of my parents, grandparents and later on school,have all had a role. My Parents kept my siblings and I in Church where we sang and played instruments. My Dad’s dad, my Grandfather had a Drum & Bugle Corp which is a professional marching band. When summer came we basically toured around nationally playing parades and shows for the entire summers, since I can remember. My Mom’s Mother, my Grandmother, was a gospel recording Artist and hometown hero in our hometown of St Louis MO.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

The new single definitely means new music. I’ve been a successful side man and key contributor to many high profile and successful bands and the time for me to write, collaborate and put out records is now! I have an EP that will be released later in the year (Oct) with a couple of singles dropping over the next couple of months.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

We have new single – Luv Hurt set to release late July, this tune is a good vibe and Ft. Chris Turner aka Love Child.Another single, Dear Old Past (ft Kenneth Whalum) will be out in Late August and then the EP release (currently untitled) is set for mid to Late Oct.

We will be doing some shows in LA, St Louis and NYC – TBA…Stay Tuned!

What aspect love and other themes would you be exploring throughout the material?

In the EP release, topics covered are relevant to what’s going on in everyday life in 2017. True Need speaks of the thing we all needs most, support, realness, loyalty and genuine connection. Dear Old Past speaks of the strength and knowledge of yesteryear but the eagerness and will power to pursue a better future. Looking Forward Is a piece speaking to what the world needs now among the chaos, selfishness and ones sided reasoning’s in the right now.

Overall the EP looks to explore these themes of how we can push through and be better people in a time of uncertainty. To encourage community and support of one another and to try and better ourselves each day to contribute to positive atmosphere and environment in and around us.

Any plans to hit the road?

Currently the touring I’m doing with Gregory Porter is quite extensive however, we will be doing some shows in LA, St Louis and NYC around the EP release – TBA…Stay Tuned!

 What else is happening next in Emanuel Harrold’s world?

I’m writing music like a mad man! In every spare moment I focus my energy to creating. I desire to write some impactful music for emerging artists & musicians as well as established artist alike. I prefer not to be bound by pigeon holing into 1 genre but like to write and tell stories in the medium of music. I am about collaborating with great people and musicians who understand the power of music and all around want to get great music out.

I now have some really dope merchandise, T- Shirts, Earrings, Pins designed by Pip Ryan aka PBLC.FGR and I just designed a pair of custom sneakers that I want to share very soon for those who want to support this movement called BeBop 2’s.

My range is also focused on expression of style and each piece is collectable and unique. We will have some special lines coming out with the E.P launch. Our Pins and earrings are a collaboration between PBLC.FGR and HAUS OF DIZZY – a local Jewellery designer in Sydney whose work is real fresh. All merch is available through my website www.therealemanuelharrold.com

Lastly I want to give back to the community when the time presents its self. It’s a great and integral Mentoring as tutoring program call Strength and Honor mentoring (SAH.org) in my home town. Helping young boys grow into good Men. I am in my little world trying to make a difference!

Thank you VENTS again for taking time to have me.

Read more at http://ventsmagazine.com/2017/06/06/interview-emanuel-harrold/#8uE53eRBbmLux854.99