Everyone attending the 2017 SXSW Music Festival is faced with the daunting task of selecting which artists to see. With over 2,000 artists performing from March 13th through March 19th here in Austin, even the most zealous music junkie will only get to experience a fraction of the music. With dozens of venues spread over down town Austin and thousands of bands to see, I required a plan of attack for the week.
On day one, I knew that I had to see Robert Glasper & Friends perform on the Mazda Studio stage at Empire Studio & Garage. Also performing at Empire Studio & Garage were Jacob Banks, Tameca Jones, and Maggie Koerner. With a little help from Google, Spotify and Soundcloud I found that these emerging artists would make for an eclectic mix of singer song writers to kick off my night.
Robert Glasper is an amazing jazz performer. His performances includes music that blends neo-soul, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, and R&B, He has also been known to reinterpreted songs from rock acts Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden, and David Bowie. One never knows exactly what they will hear when Robert Glasper performs but this mystery always resolves itself into an amazing night of music. Here her is as part of the Robert Glasper Experiment with an interpretation of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Tonight was the first time collaboration of the musicians on one stage together. On stage tonight were Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott, Derrick Hodege, Taylor McFerrin, Marcus Gilmore and as always with a Robert Glasper performance a special unannounced guest.
Tonight’s set start off with the title track from the 1957 Miles Davis album Walkin‘. “Walkin'” is 13 minute track that morphed into over 40 minutes of jazz improv from Robert Glasper & Friends.