Glasper is known for having his feet in both the tradition of jazz and in hip hop and other musical traditions. While still instilled with his own voice, his trio work clearly has a foot in the jazz tradition, but he also has another side, currently embodied in his Robert Glasper Experiment project that looks outside the jazz idiom to find his expression. Glasper has shared the stage with Kanye, Lupe, Mos Def, Beyonce, Q-Tip and others. His most recent disc, Double Booked, showcases these two sides of Glasper, with one side dedicated to his Trio work and the other to the Experiment. I've been listening to Glasper's music since he made an impression when I saw him with his Trio at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2006 (although I clearly missed his birthplace, which is Houston, not Rochester as indicated back then). More recently, I listened to a podcast of an interview of Glasper with Josh Jackson of WGBO's The Checkout during which he shared what he's listening to on his iPod (there's also a podcast of a live set with Glasper and fellow Houstonian Jason Moran on The Checkout).
This concert is brought to the UofR community and Rochester by The Jazz Audience Development Program, and is sponsored by No Jackets Required (NJR), a campus music performance group, along with thirteen other organizations, including greek groups, cultural groups, academic groups, and other performance groups. which was developed at the Eastman School of Music and UofR by Dan Israel, a recent alumnus. The goal of the program is to introduce a new audience to jazz music by creating a day-long jazz-related program targeted towards people who wouldn't normally listen to jazz. The program is unique to Addeo Music International in New York City, where Mr. Israel has brought it and who works with Mr. Glasper. I'm glad they finally contacted me as we fully support that goal here on Jazz@Rochester.
The program features three components to further the goal of widening the jazz audience:
- Masterclass targeting music students
- Open discussion targeting non-music students
- Affordable evening concert
Glasper was the perfect candidate for the JADP program. The day starts at 3:30 in the Gowen Room in Wilson Commons (UR Campus) with a masterclass featuring NJR's own jazz ensemble. This is a free event, and is open to all students, though it is strongly focused towards musicians. Next, there is an open discussion with Robert Glasper at 6pm, also in the Gowen Room. This event is also free, and is structured so that Glasper can have an informal discussion with students. This is NOT a lecture, and is designed to foster a personal connection between attendees and Glasper.
Finally, the JADP program concludes with a concert in the Interfaith Chapel at U of R. Glasper will perform a two-hour concert with his Trio. Tickets for the concert are $5 for students and $10 for UR Community and the General Public, and are available at the door (CASH ONLY) and at the UR's Common Market (cash/credit card/URos).