Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper was raised in Houston, Texas. His mother was his first and strongest musical influence. Mrs. Glasper not only played piano and sang gospel music in the family's church, she led a band that worked the city's jazz and blues club circuit as well. By the age of twelve, young Robert was playing piano in that church. “Gospel music is built on emotion and spirituality; you go to church and leave crying,” he says. “It definitely just gave me that sensitivity and knowing how to reach people and knowing how to be in tune with your feelings and the emotion of the music. My thing is, it helps me relate to the audience 'cause they're gonna give you what you give them. When you bring the crowd into your world, you can do anything you want.”

By the time he reached adolescence, Robert knew his destiny was to be a jazz musician. He was accepted to the Houston's famed High School for the Performing Arts (”Jason Moran went there before me.”). Post-graduation, Glasper enrolled at New School University in Manhattan. Soon after arrival, he hooked up with future bandmember Reid and vocalist Bilal, an old schoolmate. As an undergrad, Glasper gigged with Christian McBride, Russell Malone and Kenny Garrett. Professional life after the New School was even sweeter: stints with Nicholas Payton, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Carmen Lundy, and Carly Simon.

The Bilal connection brought the pianist back to hip-hop. Glasper's contributions to Bilal's debut and subsequent tour brought him to the attention of Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest). “Tip would come hang out at my shows, and one day he called me and said, ‘I'm doing this tour and I need you to play keys. Can you do it?’” He's also since played with Mos Def, and is featured prominently on Bilal's forthcoming sophomore release.

Read more
Live Reviews
General Articles
What is Jazz?
Album Reviews
One LP
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles

View More Photos

Upcoming

Date Detail Price
Jan23Thu
Robert Glasper
Teragram Ballroom
Los Angeles, CA

Discography

Black Radio 2

Black Radio 2

Blue Note Records
2013

buy
Black Radio

Black Radio

Blue Note Records
2012

buy
In My Element

In My Element

Blue Note Records
2007

buy
 

Robert Glasper: Canvas

Blue Note Records
2005

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.