The Roots will be playing the final show of this year’s Twilight Concert Series this Thursday night! The Roots, who are currently the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, was co-founded in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in Philadelphia. Over the past three decades the group has been a staple of the hip hop, neo soul, and jazz rap music scenes.
During the group’s early years, the duo was known as The Square Roots, and busked on the streets of Philadelphia. Questlove would play bucket drums and Black Thought would rhyme over the beats. The two have come a long way since then, both literally and figuratively. The Roots tours extensively, is known to put on an incredible show, and have released eleven studio albums (beginning with Organix in 1993 and most recently …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin in 2014).\
In addition to Quest Love and Black Thought, the Roots currently consist of Captain Kirk Douglas, Mark Kelley, Stro Elliott, Tuba Gooding Jr., James Poyser, and Kamal Gray. They have worked with Dave Chappelle in addition to Jimmy Fallon. Besides compilations with Betty Wright, John Legend, and Elvis Costello, the Roots have worked with Jill Scott, Erykah Badu , Jay-Z among many others. Questlove, incidentally, is well known as a great story teller. If you have access to the internet check out his story about roller skating with Prince (which I believe is in his book Mo’ Meta Blues by the way) and go from there. Or, there is an even funnier story Questlove tells about Prince firing him from a DJ Gig.\
The Roots have earned three NAACP Image Awards; Outstanding Duo or Group, Outstanding Collaboration, and Outstanding Album, and three Grammy Awards; Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Album, although, this hardly scratches the surface of the depth and breadth of The Root’s career in music. With three decades worth of ultra-relevant material and experiences to draw from this should definitely be one of the best live shows in Utah in 2017!