MIAMI, Fla. – They have been described as a supergroup of thrilling musicians, as jazz history in the making, and a brilliant synthesis of jazz, soul, and Hip Hop by a group of incredible musicians creating music that is a reflection of our time.
Their genre-mashing sound seamlessly adheres neo-soul to futurefunk, West Coast jazz of the moment to astral electronica, instrumental hip-hop to musique concrète, avantgarde to classical.
“R+R stands for ‘Reflect’ and ‘Respond’,” Robert Glasper, who is credited with assembling them, says of the group’s name.
The idea came to him via Nina Simone, he said, while he was co-producing Nina Revisited, a companion album to the 2015 film What Happened, Miss Simone? Facing backlash for her politics, Simone was asked why she didn’t just shut up and sing. Her answer:
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”
Glasper adds: “When you reflect what’s going on in your time and respond to that, you can’t not be relevant. So ‘R’ plus ‘R’ equals ‘NOW’.”
Although the ensemble has toured Europe, one of their few U.S. concerts to date is set for South Florida: Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
It’s part of the 11th season of the internationally acclaimed JAZZ ROOTS series at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
Tickets range from $45 – $125 and can be purchased at 305-949-6722, at arshtcenter.org or at the box office.
Glasper, from Houston, Texas, is a jazz pianist with a knack for harmonically complex compositions that also reveal a subtle hip-hop influence. He released his debut album, Mood, with Fresh Sound New Talent Records in 2004. Interview magazine says, “Robert Glasper’s energy is infectious…Intelligent, creative, and incredibly impassioned, the pianist is the ideal flag-bearer for the new jazz era.”
Fellow musician Terrace Martin is a singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and actor from Los Angeles who has worked with every name in the industry from Quincy Jones to Kendrick Lamar.
New Orleans band member Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah is a twotime Edison Award-winning and GRAMMY® Award-nominated trumpeter, composer and producer; also the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary saxophonist, Donald Harrison, Jr.
Philadelphia-born Derrick Hodge is a celebrated composer and bassist equally adept on both electric and upright instruments. While he is best known as a member of the Robert Glasper Experiment, he is an accomplished session musician who has worked extensively across jazz, cinematic and R&B genres.
Taylor Mcferrin is a jazz/soul/electronic musician and producer whose first recorded appearance was as a background singer on “Jubilee,” a song included on his father Bobby McFerrin’s 1982 debut album. He has performed alongside such artists as Erykah Badu, The Roots, Nas and Talib Kweli.
Talented and respected Justin Tyson, born in Grand Rapids, MI., and living in New York City, has played for Jessie J, Estelle, Mos Def, Tyrese, Cubic Zirconia, Sirah, Ryan Leslie and is currently the drummer for Esperanza Spalding and Now vs Now.
R+R=NOW also has been described as functionally egalitarian, in no small part because its six members are all visionary players, composers, and producers on their own.
They move as one and, as their name reveals, with great purpose.