About Robert Glasper
Hailing from Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist with a knack for mellow, harmonically complex compositions that also reveal a subtle hip-hop influence. Inspired to play piano by his mother, a gospel pianist and vocalist, Glasper attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts. After graduation, he studied music at the New School University in Manhattan, where he found performance work with such luminaries as bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and others. After graduating college, Glasper worked with a variety of artists, including trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vocalist Carly Simon, and rapper Mos Def. The pianist released his debut album, Mood, on Fresh Sound New Talent in 2004. Canvas and In My Element followed in 2005 and 2007, respectively, on Blue Note Records.
In 2009, Glasper released the forward-thinking album Double Booked, which featured a mix of modal post-bop and funky, ’80s Herbie Hancock-inspired numbers with two separate bands. The first of these was his trio with drummer Chris Dave and upright bassist Vicente Archer; they recorded five originals and a cover of Thelonious Monk’s “Think of One.” These tracks were followed by five more originals by his electric band, dubbed the Robert Glasper Experiment, featuring Dave, electric bassist Derrick Hodge, and Casey Benjamin on saxes and vocoder.
Three years later, the Robert Glasper Experiment (with a slew of guest vocalists) issued their first stand-alone album, Black Radio, for Blue Note, which sought to blur the boundaries between jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and rock & roll. It entered the jazz chart at number one and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. Later in the year, Glasper and Blue Note released Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP. 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pete Rock were among those who participated. The following year, the Robert Glasper Experiment (then including Hodge and Benjamin with drummer Mark Colenburg) returned with their equally star-studded sophomore album, Black Radio 2. It also won a Grammy, this time for Best Traditional R&B Performance for a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children of America.”
Glasper returned to his original acoustic piano trio format with bassist Archer and drummer Damion Reid. They cut 2015’s Covered live at Capitol Studios in front of an invited audience. The album’s pre-release single was a reading of Radiohead’s “Reckoner”; it was released in April, followed by the album in June. Glasper also played on Kendrick Lamar’s celebrated To Pimp a Butterfly and Maxwell’s blackSUMMERS’night. For Don Cheadle’s 2016 Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, the pianist curated the soundtrack and wrote original music, which included contributions from Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Gary Clark, Jr. Glasper also recorded Everything’s Beautiful, a Davis tribute album in celebration of the trumpeter’s 90th birthday. Glasper reimagined classic tracks with an all-star list of collaborators who included Wonder, Muldrow, Erykah Badu, Hiatus Kaiyote, and John Scofield. Featuring the single “Ghetto Walkin’” fronted by Bilal, the album was issued that May. the Robert Glasper Experiment returned to the studio in early 2016 with a different m.o. Instead of working on the pianist’s music or covers, the quartet members wrote and arranged together in the studio for the first time. The resulting Artscience was issued in September after the pre-release singles “Day to Day” and “Thinkin’ About You.” ~ Matt Collar & Thom Jurek
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About Damion Reid
Grammy nominated artist Damion Reid hails from West Covina, California a city east of Los Angeles. He is the son of well respected bassist and astute operatic singer and teacher. By the age of three, Damion was already playing in church. It was around the age of twelve that Damion began being mentored by the world-renowned drummer Billy Higgins. During these formative years Billy’s spirit for life and music was deeply seeded in Damion’s fertile mind. Seeing Damion’s ability to grasp the music both, analytically and conceptually it wasn’t long before Billy invited him to be a part of his drum collective. As he began to mature musically he found himself frequenting Billy’s club “The World Stage,” learning and playing with the likes of Billy Childs, George Bohanon, and Oscar Brashear.
As Damion continued to cultivate his love for music through his high school years, he managed school life with professional obligations. Damion graduated High School and made the move to Boston, Massachusetts New England Conservatory of Music. It was while in Boston between the years of 1998 and 1999 that he received the prestigious Alan Dawson scholarship. He then was accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. Soon finding himself trekking to New York City to attend The New School. He then began performing and touring alongside Greg Osby, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Bunky Green, Steve Coleman, Steve Lehman, Jacky Terrasson, Ravi Coltrane, Reggie Workman, Miles Okazaki, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Robert Hurst, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, Mark Shim, Ben Monder, Liberty Ellman, Laurent Coq, Greg Ward, Jure Pukl, Jonathan Finlayson, David Binney, Mark Turner, Lauryn Hill and many others.
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About Vicente Archer
Born and raised in Woodstock, NY, Vicente Archer has been hailed as one of the most sought-out bassists of his generation. At the age of twenty, while still in college in Boston, he was picked up by acclaimed artists Donald Harrison and Eric Reed to tour. Soon after that he went on to work with artists such as Terence Blanchard, Kenny Garrett, Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Jordan, Stefon Harris and many more. Vicente currently tours with Blue Note recording artists Amos Lee and Robert Glasper, as well as the Grammy Award winning artist Nicholas Payton.
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