Robert Glasper Biography


Jazz pianist Robert Glasper has a talent for creating soothing, harmonically challenging tunes that also exhibit a faint hip-hop influence. Glasper attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts. His mother, a gospel pianist and singer, encouraged him to learn the piano.

Following graduation, he pursued music studies at the New School University in Manhattan, where he performed with notable musicians including the bassist Christian McBride and the saxophone Kenny Garrett. Following his college graduation, Glasper collaborated with a number of musicians, such as rapper Mos Def, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and singer Carly Simon.

Career & Projects

Since his mid-2000s debut as a leader, the Houston native has been essential to the continued success of Blue Note Records. With his highly collaborative recordings for the label, such as the Grammy-winning Black Radio (2011) and Black Radio 2 (2013) as well as ArtScience (2016), all three of which were credited to Robert Glasper Experiment, the Houston native regularly topped Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart.

Glasper has overseen a number of projects, including the soundtrack for Miles Ahead (another Grammy winner) and R+R=Collagically Now’s Speaking. He has also participated in dozens of sessions in a variety of musical styles, most notably Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.

Since switching to Loma Vista Recordings, Glasper has produced Black Radio III (2022), an expansion of his Blue Note recordings, and Fuck Yo Feelings (2019), a mixtape that demonstrates his opposition to expectations and adherence to spontaneity.

In 2004, the pianist’s debut record, Mood, was made available via Fresh Sound New Talent. Blue Note Records released Canvas in 2005 and In My Element in 2007, respectively. Glasper launched the innovative Double Booked in 2009; it mixed modal post-bop and groovy, Herbie Hancock-inspired songs from the 1980s with two different bands.

Three years later, the Robert Glasper Experiment released Black Radio, their first stand-alone album for Blue Note, which tried to meld jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and rock & roll genres.

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