Robert Glasper Opens Up About Scoring Luther Vandross Doc

robert glasper
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 02: Robert Glasper performs at the 2024 Roots Picnic at Fairmount Park on June 02, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images)

Robert Glasper, a five-time Grammy winner, recently shared his excitement about scoring the upcoming Luther Vandross documentary. Speaking to Billboard, Glasper said, “Luther was the soundtrack to my childhood. We didn’t have a family gathering without Luther’s music playing.” This connection to Vandross’s music made the project deeply personal for Glasper, who described the experience as “close to my heart. It felt like him.”

Rober Glasper Bridging Genres and Generations

Glasper is renowned for blending jazz with modern genres like R&B and Hip-Hop. He believes that jazz needs to evolve with the times. “People are OK with jazz moving into the modern times,” Glasper explained. “We already have jazz history. But new things [in jazz] also need to be done so that the new things can, in turn, make history.”

He praised contemporary artists such as Samara Joy, Esperanza Spalding, and Gregory Porter for their innovative contributions. “They’re saying it’s OK to learn the history, but don’t get held back by it. That lesson is being taught. And a lot of people are embracing this new wave of artists who are telling their stories and aren’t afraid to do so.”

Glasper particularly admires Samara Joy, calling her “a breath of fresh air.” He noted, “She obviously has studied the history of the music, but you can hear her through it as well. And she’s not afraid of genre-hopping either.”

Esperanza Spalding and Gregory Porter were also highlighted for their roles in bringing jazz into a new era. “People are seeing others like Esperanza and Gregory, who are bringing jazz into a new day.”

Upcoming Projects

Glasper is currently working on his next album, which will be a mix of jazz and Hip-Hop. “We’re recording some jazz tunes in a very acoustic, sextet style,” Glasper said. The other half of the album will feature hip-hop versions of these jazz songs, with different hip-hop producers sampling each track.

In addition to his album, Glasper is preparing for the Blue Note Jazz Festival Presents: The Black Radio Experience, featuring headliners John Legend, Jill Scott, and André 3000.

Glasper’s involvement in the Luther Vandross documentary, “Luther: Never Too Much,” directed by Dawn Porter, is a testament to his admiration for the legendary singer. The documentary is set to premiere next year on CNN, OWN, and Max. Reflecting on the project, Glasper said, “Doing the music for this doc was close to my heart. It felt like him.”

Glasper’s work on the documentary not only honors Vandross’s legacy but also bridges the gap between past and present, showing the timeless influence of Vandross’s music on new generations.