The Roots
The Roots

The Roots are the influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based band -- described by Rolling Stone as "one of the greatest live acts in the world" and by the Boston Globe as the "greatest hip-hop band in the land". The band has paved the way for live instrumental rap and has won numerous awards for its jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop, including two Grammy's and a 2007 NAACP Image Award.

Since their debut album "Organix" in 1993, The Roots have developed a diverse fan base and have played such notable venues as NYC's Radio City Music Hall, Lollapalooza, Montreux Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater, performing over 200 shows annually. The Roots have hosted the highly anticipated Jam Session, which takes place each year the evening before the Grammys. Their music has been heard in numerous television shows, video games and movies such as Entourage, Project Gotham Racing 4, and Super Bad. "Illadelph Halflife," the follow up to the band's first major-label release, "Do You Want More?!!!??!," reached the Top 40 on Billboard's album chart and the top five on the rap charts with their single "Clones." Their 1999 release "Things Fall Apart" reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart and 2004's "The Tipping Point" debuted in the same position.

The Roots' lineup includes original members rapper/MC Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drums), who met in 1987 and were classmates at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. They later added Owen Biddle (bass), James "Kamal" Gray (keyboard), Frank "Knuckles" Walker (percussion), Kirk "Captain Kirk" Douglas (guitar) and Damen "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson (saxophone), James Poyser.