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Reared in a household where Motown, R&B and gospel were constant companions, Robert Glasper had a truly musical upbringing as he followed in his mother's footsteps and began playing piano in church and accompanying on her jazz and blues club dates in Houston, all by the time he turned 12.
Sharpening his prodigal chops at the Houston High School for the Performing Arts and the New School University, Glasper allowed his developing affinity for pop, hip hop and rock to inform his musical sensibilities. By 2003, Glasper had already racked up spots in the bands of prominent jazz artists such as Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, Terence Blanchard and Roy Hargrove. He simultaneously performed jazz while taking gigs as a touring musician and musical director for artists such as Maxwell, Yasiin Bey, Q-Tip, and Bilal.