Robert Glasper amongst these acting at sixteenth annual Lowcountry Jazz Competition | Charleston Scene


The Lowcountry Jazz Competition is bringing out the massive weapons for its sixteenth annual occasion. 

Amongst performers at this 12 months’s two-day pageant Sept. 3-4 on the Gaillard Heart is the world-renowned Robert Glasper, a jazz pianist, producer, songwriter and musical arranger who has received 4 Grammy Awards. 

Glasper, 44, has labored with some unimaginable names throughout the trade. The checklist contains Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Jill Scott, Widespread, Mac Miller and Brittany Howard. 

Along with bringing to the desk his personal neo-soul, hip-hop, jazz, gospel and R&B influences, Glasper has additionally reinterpreted songs by Nirvana, Radiohead and David Bowie. 

“I similar to individuals who have their very own sound, their very own concepts, appear open to alter and collaboration,” Glasper instructed The Publish and Courier. “I similar to proficient people who find themselves right here to say one thing.” 

His ongoing collaborative compilation sequence “Black Radio” has been fairly the spotlight of his profession, with the third file dropping earlier this 12 months. Glasper did not essentially plan to create a trio, however COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter motion and the occasions of 2020 propelled him in that route. 

“Every part was taking place,” stated Glasper. “Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, police shootings, faculty shootings, COVID. So many issues had been taking place actually on the nook of my block, individuals setting issues on fireplace offended (about) George Floyd. When issues like that occur in world, we usually should go to work and have all these different issues to do, different issues happening. This time, it was completely different; we needed to face it, and all over the place you regarded … you had been seeing it head on.” 


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Glasper reached out to a variety of artists about collaborating, but it surely was a blended response on the time. Lots of people had been too depressed to jot down music, others weren’t feeling artistic or in the proper songwriting headspace. Some stated they wanted to jot down; there was no method round it. 

Glasper gravitated towards these individuals, and the end result included a file that “confronted the elephant within the room” instantly, with an introductory tune and poem with Amir Sulaiman addressing Floyd’s killing after which, instantly after, Grammy Award-winning “Black Superhero.” 

That tune featured an all-star solid of BJ The Chicago Child, Killer Mike and Huge Ok.R.I.T. 







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Robert Glasper’s most shocking second of his profession, he stated, was successful an Emmy. AP


“We acquired it in a one-two punch,” Glasper stated. 

It was the primary time Glapser wasn’t within the studio with the artists he was collaborating with. As a substitute, he shared information backwards and forwards throughout the nation in the course of the pandemic lockdown. It was a unique course of, he stated, however one which was distinctive to this period. 

“I used to be a part of that bizarre time,” he stated with amusing. 

In terms of jazz, Glasper’s relationship with the musical kind goes method again. Again to when his mom, a jazz singer, used to take him round to her gigs at golf equipment in Houston, Texas.

“I like the creativity and openness of it, how it’s a must to work together with the devices and different band members otherwise,” stated Glasper. “The way it’s an open and true dialog with different individuals while you’re enjoying it accurately, and the way there’s room to alter issues within the second — it intrigued me.” 

Then at church on Sundays, he acquired a dose of gospel. 

“It was form of an ideal storm,” stated Glasper. 


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He attended a performing arts highschool after which studied on the New Faculty College in Manhattan, N.Y., the place he honed his expertise and propelled his ardour ahead. 

His forward-thinking “Double Booked” file, which featured a mixture of modal Herbie Hancock-inspired numbers with two separate bands, acquired Glasper his first Grammy nomination. 

After that got here 5 wins, and the largest shock of his profession, an Emmy win.







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Robert Glasper launched “Black Radio III” on March 17, 2022. In September, he’ll carry out on the Lowcountry Jazz Competition on the Gaillard Heart. Supplied


In 2017, Glasper was awarded for his excellent authentic music and lyrics for “Letter to the Free” in “thirteenth,” a Netflix documentary through which filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the historical past of racial inequality in America. 

“I by no means noticed that coming,” stated Glasper. “A Grammy, that was within the path, that was one thing I noticed coming, one thing you sit up for. An Emmy is off the course. It made me notice you may get an EGOT simply doing music; you do not have to behave, you do not have to do something exterior of what I do.” 

Along with creating a variety of music — from solo albums to collaborative initiatives to different artists’ visions to movie scores — within the studio, Glasper has traveled everywhere in the world to play at occasions and venues such because the London Jazz Competition, North Sea Jazz Competition, The Kennedy Heart, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Corridor and the Blue Word Jazz Membership.

It will likely be his first look on the Lowcountry Jazz Competition, and, he stated, like with most reside performances, he would not have a set checklist ready. He plans to “go off the vibe of the individuals.” 

“Charleston will get its personal particular set checklist,” he assured. 


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