Robert Glasper becomes Rhodes ambassador: watch him playing Donny Hathaway’s Valdez in the Country on the new MK8 electric piano

Fresh from signing up James Blake as its first ambassador, Rhodes has now confirmed genre-crossing jazz-centric keyboard player Robert Glasper as its debut US endorsee.

Glasper is a long-time fan of Rhodes pianos, and is currently playing the new MK8 nightly during his month-long ‘Robtober’ residency at famed New York jazz venue The Blue Note.

The 52-show run will feature performances from the likes of Yasiin Bey, Lalah Hathaway, Terrace Martin, Alex Isley and many more.

In celebration of the new partnership, Rhodes has released exclusive footage of Glasper performing Donny Hathaway’s Valdez in the Country at The Blue Note, with Terrace Martin joining him on saxophone.

Written in the ‘60s, Valdez in the Country was first recorded under the name Patty Cake by King Curtis and the Kingpins, with Hathaway including his own version on seminal 1973 album Extension of a Man.

The track has since been covered numerous times, including by George Benson, for his 1977 album, In Flight.  

Meanwhile, back at Rhodes HQ, the company’s Chief Electronics Engineer Cyril Lance is hard at work finalising the VCA and Bucket Brigade effects for the MK8-FX piano model. 

Lance is a Moog Music alumni and was instrumental in the development of the classic Moogerfooger series of analogue effect pedals (which, incidentally, Moog has just brought back in plugin form). He also worked on the Little Phatty, Moog One, Sub-37, Grandmother, Matriarch and Sirin.

A demo of the MK8-FX is in the works, and should be shared with the world soon.

Rhodes MK8-FX

(Image credit: Rhodes)
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.