Duke Ellington certainly still has a sea of fans and admirers, but New School for Jazz alumnus Robert Glasper’s tastes lean towards Roy Ayers. “That’s my dude right there,” he says of the experimental steel guitarist in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “Without Roy Ayers, I couldn’t do what I’m doing right now.”
What he’s doing right now is revolutionizing jazz—and it comes at a needed time. Jazz has been criticized lately for being “obsessed with the past,” and remaining ultimately unchanged for the last 50 years. Glasper’s fusion of soul, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B is an attempt to revitalize—and reinvent—the industry, as well as get a younger generation feeling the rhythm. Read more about Grammy winner’s vision for new age jazz in the Wall Street Journal.