Photo Credit: Monesia Hobbs
Terrace Martin & Robert Glasper Bring Love, Peace & Unity To Crenshaw [Recap]
Photo Credit: Samantha J for Okayplayer
Monesia Hobbs was in the mix when Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper held a celebrated pop-up performance in the middle of the Leimert Park neighborhood.
On Friday, June 1, something magical happened in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Jazz and production giants Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper brought their celebrated pop-up show to the middle of the city. Affectionately titled “A Night of Love, Peace and Unity,” guests came from all parts of the city to experience the all-ages concert under the stars in Terrace’s old stomping grounds. Martin, along with many of the jazz names we see now (Kamasi Washington, Stephen and Ronald Bruner, etc.) grew up under the tutelage of Billy Higgins, at the World Famous World Stage, just a few feet away from the location of this event. To be able to come home and give something back to the community that raised him is a dream that most artist hope to fulfill. “I always love the fellowship with my folks,” says Terrace.
Terrace and Robert have been musical best friends since they met at an elite jazz camp more than 20 years ago. They have since gone on to produce multiple hit records, win Grammys and are currently on tour as a part of the super group Respond + Reflect = Now (R+R=NOW). Whenever Robert is in Los Angeles they announce their signature short notice pop-up events, with each one reaching a greater audience. Glasper reflects on the event stating “The event was amazing, being here in Leimert Park again. We’ve done this a few time, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger. Just being with the people in the community warms my heart and I feel like we need to do more of this. I love everybody that’s involved and it just feels like a lot of love.”
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For this round, Love Peace and Unity was produced as a collaborative effort between Sounds of Crenshaw Productions and J3Collection. The outdoor event was held between two brick buildings on a warm Los Angeles evening that some said felt reminiscent of an event in Philadelphia or Brooklyn. J3Collection, a photography studio owned by Justin Jackson, was able to achieve his vision of bringing his art to life through music with Terrace’s help.
“J3Collection encapsulates every inspiration, form of art and dialogue that has surrounded me as a black man in Los Angeles. I have embraced and been influenced by so many people in L.A. from business to art and tonight was a culmination of those things coming together in an area that has the capability of sustaining the black community. Tonight brought me to tears. As a kid, I’m staring at album covers, looking like these are cool, then you do your research and you realize that somebody took a picture of this. I learned that photographers made the pieces I liked and captured that visual. That’s what this was about. This was about me capturing the modern day legends. Terrace and Robert are our icons. They are our John Coltranes and Thelonius Monks. They are the cats that we will be wearing their t-shirts 30 years from now and I just want to be the guy that took the picture!” exclaims Justin.
Photo Credit: Samantha J for Okayplayer
It wouldn’t be a Terrace and Robert pop-up without the all-star cast. Bassist extraordinaire, also a member of R+R=Now and all around nice guy, Derrick Hodge, came in from Denver to be a part of this pretty dope night. Originally from Philadelphia, Leimert Park felt like home to him. “This event was incredible. I found out about this a couple of days ago and I just had to be here when I found out what it was about. Showing up in Leimert Park not knowing what was going to be but seeing people lined up four blocks deep, [and] then hearing the history and feeling the love all around—it’s things like this that we need to be a part of, supporting positive movement. It’s an honor to be a part of this and I hope the people felt the love.” To round out the band was rising star drummer Jonathan Pinson, who came in from New York to lend his services, and veteran session guitarist Marlon Williams.
Special guests called to the stage included Amanda Seales, who blessed the audience with a dope poetry set while the band banged J Dilla and Estelle who infused her own twist on the Lauryn Hill/Roberta Flack classic “Killin’ Me Softly”. Estelle stopped to share her thoughts on the event. It’s amazing to be here and see what Justin and his team have done for Leimert Park. I hope it continues. I hope it gets bigger and bigger. It’s been beautiful to hear music, vibe and freestyle.”
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Rose Gold, the songbird on many of Terrace’s releases also blessed the stage to assist with live renditions of Terrace Martin-produced tunes such as “Untitled 5” and “Mortal Man” from past Kendrick Lamar albums. Local celebrity Chef E-Dubble pulled up his Caribbean fusion food truck, Grilled Fraiche, to cure those munchies needs.
And the night was saved for one moment from the stresses of what’s been going on around us, as Terrace, Robert and their players manage to heal us with love, peace and unity.
Keep an eye out for more from Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper as they’ll be releasing the R+R=Now album, Collagically Speaking, and performing in Brooklyn on June 22nd in Prospect Park to kick off a run of live dates.
Monesia Hobbs is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and owner of The Wordplay Firm where she contributes to music culture as a journalist, event producer and artist manager. She also edits books, bios and resumes. Keep up with her adventures by following her on Instagram @YouNeedMo.