Aida Brandes-Hargrove started her career as a teenager working as a professional singer and dancer, backing up artists from across different genres like RnB singer Joe, David Hasselhoff and Menudo’s Angelo Garcia and performing for companies like Reebok and Fila. At 19 she was signed to major recording studio in Germany as part of a duo and opened for acts like Boyz II Men and MC Lyte. Aida also plays piano and enjoys writing and arranging. She is self taught and draws from a diverse pool of music with its main roots in jazz, hip hop and rnb.
In her twenties Aida took some time off to focus on studying music. While spending most of her time studying and practicing at home, she also performed regularly in local jazz venues, such as the now defunct, but famed institution St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem. Her projects eventually focused more on writing and producing. Her Big Band arrangements have been featured by the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Slide Hampton, the Astoria Big Band and the NYC Ska Orchestra. Her original songs have been finalists and winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, as well as the Great American Song Contest. Other official selections include the Long Island International Film Expo, Golden Door International Film Festival, Lady Filmmakers Festival.
Aida is the widow of the late, great Roy Hargrove and the president of Roy Hargrove Legacy, a company she founded with his daughter Kamala to preserve and extend his legacy and celebrate his contributions to jazz and beyond. She is also the executive director of the Roy Hargrove Big Band, which she relaunched in early 2022 with the help of long time big band alumni Bruce Williams and Jason Marshall. The big band features mainly original band members with the addition of a few bright, young talents and has a monthly residency at The Jazz Gallery, a NYC venue that Roy co-founded. Other recent events include a three day run at Dizzy’s to celebrate Roy’s birthday and the album release of “The Love Suite: In Mahogany”. A few weeks earlier they played to a sold out crowd at Vassar College, which introduced Roy's big band sound to a whole new generation.
Since its founding Roy Hargrove Legacy has released “In Harmony”, a live duo recording featuring Roy and Mulgrew Miller and has been instrumental in getting albums re-released that had not previously been available on digital platforms, such as “The Jazz Futures - Live in Concert” and five albums of the Jazz Networks, as well as “Oscar Peterson meets Roy Hargrove and Ralph Moore” and Cedar Walton’s “The Composer”. All of these albums feature Roy and are important records in the Jazz catalog. Most recently they collaborated with Jazz at Lincoln Center on their Blue Engine release of “The Love Suite: In Mahogany”, Roy’s historic live performance of a five-movement composition JALC commissioned him to write and perform 30 years ago. The performance features Roy and his then quintet with the addition of two special guests and was recorded at Alice Tully Hall in 1993.