Known among his peers as a supremely talented improviser, Roger Glenn has played flute with vibraphonist Cal Tjader, vibes with flautist Herbie Mann, and both flute and vibes with Dizzy Gillespie. He made his recording debut with legendary pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams and contributed to classic albums with Cuban percussion maestro Mongo Santamaria (“Mongo’70” Atlantic Records), pioneering funk/jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd (“Black Byrd” Blue Note Records), Latin jazz star Cal Tjader (Grammy Award-winning “La Onda Va Bien” on Concord Picante Label), and Taj Mahal and The Hula Blues Band “Live from Kauai” winning a Na Hoku Hanohano Award.
Music has marked Glenn’s family for generations. His father, the great trombonist and vibraphonist Tyree Glenn, most notably played with Cab Calloway, Don Redman, Duke Ellington, and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, including the classic recording “What a Wonderful World” and is present in the historic 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem.”
As bandleader, composer, and jazz giant with a unique story to tell. “I’ve always seen myself as a musician rather than a flutist or vibraphonist or saxophonist,” Glenn says. “I treasure and value all the instruments I play. My father always told me to ‘create your own sound.’ Playing 18-plus instruments allows me to express myself, selecting the best instrument for each song I play.”
No one project or recording could possibly capture every facet of this kaleidoscopically creative musician. Glenn’s dazzling multi-instrumental prowess via his abiding passion for Afro-Caribbean (and Afro-Brazilian) rhythms will be showcased at Word of South on Sunday, as part of our Cuban and Latin Jazz Extravaganza.