June 25, 2017 | 2:00pm – 7:00pm
Grammy winning jazz and R&B icon meets rising Brooklyn soul collective and NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Concerts winner.
Robert Glasper Experiment – Growing up in Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper’s mother, a professional singer, used to take him with her to her jazz and blues gigs. Suffice it to say, these musical styles rubbed off. Glasper’s first public performance took place in a church gospel, where his mother was the music director. Soon he began experimenting, meshing gospel and jazz harmonies. He moved to NYC to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and here he linked up with neo-soul singer Bilal Oliver, and the two forged a performing/recording partnership. After playing in various jazz bands, Glasper released his first solo album in 2004, named Mood, which featured original compositions and his take on several jazz classics (notably one of Herbie Hancock’s, a favorite artist of Glasper’s). His next release, 2005’s Canvas, saw Glasper flexing his skills on the Fender Rhodes electric piano, creating an undeniably bold new sound. Of his next eight full length albums, there would come In My Element in 2006, which contained the touching track “Tribute” that honored his greatest influence (his mother), 2009’s funk-induced Double Booked, where Glasper displayed his newfound mastery of the vocoder, and 2012’s Black Radio, a refreshing compilation of cross-over hip hop and soul songs with Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway and Yasiin Bey. This album would receive a sequel, followed by The Robert Glasper Trio band issuing a collection of timeless covers on 2015’s Covered. Glasper has performed at jazz festivals throughout the world, and his trio continues to please crowds with their exceptional mélange of jazz/hip hop.
Phony Ppl – Phony Ppl either crash-landed from the past or the future: critics and fans can’t decide. Since throwing warehouse shows around New York in 2011, the five Brooklyn natives have tossed together vintage astral funk, soulful complex R&B, and dusted-out hip-hop to evoke a newfound, genre-less music. Their sound originated in the basement of a Bedford-Stuyvesant home studio, where the band began making music together in high school. Co-founded by lead vocalist Elbee Thrie and keyboardist Aja Grant, with Aja’s brother Bari on bass, the band self-released hits like “Why iii Love the Moon,” which is featured in EA Sports’ NBA Live 16, and “End of the Night,” which was praised by none other than Tyler. the Creator as one of his favorite songs of 2016. The dynamic quintet also features Elijah Rawk on guitar and Matthew Byas on drums. Together, they have toured as direct support with like-minded experimental performers Theophilus London, Erykah Badu, and The Roots.
Tank and The Bangas – Tank and The Bangas have all of the qualities that root them in New Orleans, their city of origin, but they are also gifted with a special artistic flair. Their performances have been described as “one of the most energetic shows you’ll ever see,” and they’ve performed everywhere from top national concert venues to a gospel tent in
Mississippi. Rummaging through their sound like a thrift store enthusiast, you’ll find that the Bangas evoke rhythmic soul, spoken word, rock, gospel, funk, and folk. In combining their various musical skills, especially the creative play on lyrics from their lead vocalist, Tank and The Bangas have quilted a unique sound that singles them out as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans. The group has graced the cover of one of New Orleans’ most recognized magazines, OffBeat, and they recently won the Band of the Year award at the New Orleans Big Easy Awards. The group has opened for acts such as LiAnne LaHavas, PJ Morton, Galactic, Big Freedia, The Revivalists, and The Soul Rebels. Tank and The Bangas are sure to give you an experience you won’t forget!
Central Park – Rumsey Playfield
72nd Street and Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10021