Grammy Award winning pianist, producer, composer Robert Glasper will examine the music and legacy of genre-defying trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis this fall at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

Robert Glasper. Photo by Peter Coulson.

Grammy Award winning pianist, producer, composer and Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper and Grammy-winning journalist, producer, and writer Ashley Kahn will examine the music and legacy of genre-defying trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis this fall at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. This groundbreaking course, which will be open to a select number of undergraduates, will integrate a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, rock, hip hop, electronic, dance, and neo-soul, to analyze Davis’s pioneering influence on more than six decades of music.

This class marks Glasper’s first foray into teaching at the university level while Kahn is a visiting professor at Recorded Music and has been with the Institute since 2005. Both have significant connection with Miles Davis’s musical accomplishments—Kahn is author of the groundbreaking study Kind of Blue: The Making Of The Miles Davis Masterpiece, and Glasper is music supervisor for Miles Ahead, the recent feature-length biopic starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis.

“It is such an honor to be teaching at the Clive Davis Institute at NYU,” says Glasper. “I am really excited about this subject - the music of Miles Davis!!! This is gonna be an incredible journey and can’t wait to get started.”

"We're really thrilled to have Robert Glasper join the faculty of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music,” said Jason King, associate professor and director of Writing, History & Emergent Media Studies at the Clive Davis Institute. “He’ll bring to the classroom superior musical chops and visionary ideas that fuse genres like jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. It's exciting to think about how his instruction might impact and transform our students' musical and creative ideas."

The seven-class course covers the music and career of one of the most important musical geniuses of the 20th Century, who would have turned 90 this year. The course is divided into two: students will complete focused readings, listening and viewing assignments that investigate the social, cultural, musical and business aspects of Miles’s monumental accomplishments. The second half focuses on musicianship, performance, composition and production with students completing in-class and out-of-class assignments under Glasper’s mentorship, deconstructing Miles’s compositional and studio approaches, and working collaboratively with fellow students to produce and refine original musical works.

“Every aspiring performer, producer, songwriter, composer and creative entrepreneur searching for success in today’s popular music industry can learn from the genius of Miles,” said Kahn. ”Some of the greatest pop musicians of the last 50 years, from Joni Mitchell to Fela Kuti to D’Angelo, have enriched their music by engaging with the profound musical innovations that Miles helped bring to the fore.”

The class will begin September 6, 2016, and will take place on Tuesdays through the fall semester. For more information on this class and other programming at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, visit the institute's web site.

Robert Glasper brings to NYU Tisch an innovative and eclectic musical style and has worked with a wide variety of musicians including Mos Def, Q-Tip, Kanye West, Meshell Ndegeocello, J Dilla, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Slum Village, Questlove, and Maxwell. A Houston native, Glasper had a strong musical influence in his mother who played piano and sang gospel music in church as well as in jazz and blues clubs. After moving to New York City, Glasper began performing with Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, Terence Blanchard, and Roy Hargrove. After releasing his debut album Mood in 2003 Glasper signed to Blue Note Records. Two acclaimed acoustic albums followed—Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007)— and in 2009 he released Double-Booked, which juxtaposed his acoustic Trio and hip hop-infused Experiment band. Glasper’s 2012 breakout Black Radio won Best R&B Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards, which was followed by Black Radio 2 (2013), another genre-defying effort that took the Black Radio blueprint and built to even greater heights, winning Glasper a second Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance. In 2015, Glasper reunited his original acoustic trio for the album Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio recorded live at Capitol Studios), which is Grammy-nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Glasper composed the original music for the Miles Davis film Miles Ahead, directed by and starring Don Cheadle. He is an official Steinway Artist.

Ashley Kahn is an author, music journalist, recording and concert producer, as well as being a professor of music history and criticism at NYU. In addition to Kind of Blue, he is the author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album and co-author of Carlos Santana’s recent memoirs The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story To Light. During a 30-year career in the music business, Kahn has helped produced countless concerts, tours and festivals including a ten-year stint as tour manager for a multitude of music groups, including: Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Debbie Harry & the Jazz Passengers and Britney Spears. He continues to work very closely with the Miles Davis family on a variety of projects, including a Miles Davis museum exhibition, tribute concerts and various panels and speaking engagements. In 2015, he won a Grammy for Best Liner Notes for the John Coltrane album Offering.

The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music provides professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.


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