A small seaside town in Tunisia in the 1970s. A boy walks along a deserted shoreline picking up the odds and ends he finds lying around: A broken fishing net; a few discarded sardine cans; spokes from an old bicycle. His heart and mind are full of music and he wants to play. It's as much as his father can do to put food on the table for Dhafer and his seven brothers and sisters. There certainly isn't spare money for music lessons, let alone for an instrument. So Dhafer makes his own oud, the traditional middle-Eastern lute, using whatever he can find.
Robert Glasper was raised in Houston, Texas. His mother was his first and strongest musical influence. Mrs. Glasper not only played piano and sang gospel music in the family's church, she led a band that worked the city's jazz and blues club circuit as well. By the age of twelve, young Robert was playing piano in that church. "Gospel music is built on emotion and spirituality; you go to church and leave crying," he smiles. "It definitely just gave me that sensitivity and knowing how to reach people and knowing how to be in tune with your feelings and the emotion of the music.
Grey Ghost Pianist Roosevelt T. Williams, better known as "Grey Ghost," entertained Central Texas audiences from the 1920s through the 1990s with his jazz-tinged barrelhouse blues. Once called the "Thelonious Monk of Blues," Williams was born Dec. 7, 1903, in Bastrop. Armed with basic musical training as a teen, he used his good ear to absorb African-American, Anglo, Mexican, and Eastern European styles pouring out of area dances and roadhouses. Williams often traveled to and from gigs by slipping onto empty boxcars, which earned him the Grey Ghost appellation.
Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band which formed in 1972. The band was formed by Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) and Walter Becker (guitar, bass), who met in 1967 while both attended Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and began a songwriting partnership shortly thereafter. Their music is characterized by dark, witty lyrical narratives, obscure lyrical allusions and complex, jazz-influenced instrumentation and chord sequences, overlying more ordinary popular song structures.
Riley B. King aka B. B. King (born September 16th, 1925 in Itta Bena, Mississippi) is a well known American blues guitarist and songwriter. He is among the most respected electric guitarists. One of King's trademarks is naming his guitar (Gibson ES335) "Lucille". In the 1950s in a bar in Twist, Arkansas two men got into a fight, accidentally knocking over a bucket of burning kerosene (used for heating) and setting the establishment on fire. Risking his life, B.B. King ran back into the collapsing building to retrieve his guitar.
According to their own website, they are the founding fathers and absolute rulers of the neo-swing movement, the reigning kings of all that is sartorially and otherwise splendid in classic American music. They hit their big break in the mass-media with Hey Pachuco! used in the 1994 movie "The Mask" (it's the music Jim Carrey dances to with Cameron Diaz). Since 1991, they have released four studio albums and three live albums. They are based in Los Angeles, and frequently tour in the L.A. area, around the United States, and around the world.
Roy Ayers was born on September 10, 1940 in Los Angeles. Thanks to his trombone playing father and piano teaching mother, he became immersed in music from day one and the story goes that he was given his first set of vibe mallets by his hero Lionel Hampton at the age of 5. Constantly performing and recording since the 1960s, he is one of the most famous jazz vibraphonists. He has produced some of the most loved modern soul-jazz records of all time such as, "Everybody Loves The Sunshine"...
1. Sam Jones, a greatly in-demand bassist who often teamed up with drummer Louis Hayes, was also a talented jazz cello soloist. He always took advantage of the fairly rare opportunities he had to lead sessions to create memorable music. He played with Tiny Bradshaw (1953-1955), moved to New York in 1955 and worked with the groups of Kenny Dorham, Cannonball Adderley (1957), Dizzy Gillespie (1958-1959), and Thelonious Monk, among others.
Kirk Degiorgio was born in Stepney, East London in the late 60's. Raised in a family who loved a wide range of music - and one which could claim a hugely famous pop-star cousin in Marc Bolan of T-Rex - Kirk got early exposure to music from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Sly Stone, Roxy Music, etc. His mother Janet Feld was a young 'mod' who devoutly followed The Kinks, The Who, etc around the venues of London.
“Real music is crash protected,” state the liner notes of Black Radio, a future landmark album by the Robert Glasper Experiment that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. Like an aircraft’s black box for which the album is titled, Black Radio holds the truth and is indestructible.