One look inside Bobby’s music room will positively identify his interests as music, old maps, and Christopher Columbus. Pictures of his inspirations, Louis Armstrong and Maynard Ferguson, among others, occupy a couple of walls. In fact, he says that every trumpet player he has ever heard became an inspiration to him. Photos of a young Bobby in early music groups are there to chronicle his progress, along with his main inspiration, his wife Pam. One wall is almost completely filled with an ancient map and lithographs of Columbus. Bobby’s interest in music started in a very unique manner. He said he was fascinated by the music from a ” Jack In The Box” his parents bought him when he was three years old.
The Los Angeles native started with a form of the “box”, the accordion, added guitar at age seven, and trumpet at age fourteen. He tried tenor sax in high school, but says the reed tickled his lips, and thus the decision was for the trumpet. He also liked the fact that the trumpet played the melody, as in singing.
His first paid performance was at the San Fernando Valley American Legion, which he had to play by ear, since he couldn’t as yet read music for the trumpet. In high school, the usual opportunities to gain experience filled his time and increased his interest to the point that he wanted to further his musical education. His goal was the solo spot in the famed Jazz “A” band at California State University.
In 1979 he won the award for the outstanding soloist at the Chaffey College Jazz Festival. During this time he was also working as an arranger and consultant for several Las Vegas and Reno performers, as well as performing in and guest conducting the Burbank Civic Light Orchestra, plus arranging and playing in the Dick Grove School of Music studio jazz band. Outstanding trumpeter awards came also in 1982, both at the Reno Collegiate Jazz Festival and the Pacific Coast Jazz Festival. The year 1982 brought forth his first recording, with the CSUN Jazz Band, as well as performing at some big name Los Angeles clubs with the Lad McIntosh Big Band, with whom he also recorded and received acclaim for his solos.
Bobby formed his own band, “The Jazz Cook Book”, to perform and record some of his original music and arrangements. He has also written and produced music for various film projects and commercials. In 1986 being named associate musical director for the stage production of “Cotton Club”, to be performed in Las Vegas, afforded him the opportunity to arrange for and perform with the likes of Gregory Hines.
After more playing and recording and forming a Dixieland quintet, he attracted the attention of Walt Disney Entertainment. After playing at Pleasure Island for a year, he moved on to his present,” regular jobs”, at MGM studios, with the “Hollywood Hitmen”, and fronting the society orchestra at the Grand Floridian Hotel, both at Florida’s Walt Disney World. Not yet busy enough, in June he started playing in the Dixie Trio at the Magic Kingdom.
As a charter member of the BACJB, Bobby gets a chance to exercise several of his loves and talents. Vocals, arranging, traveling and of course, playing trumpet, all contribute to his goal of continued growth. He humbly considers himself very fortunate to be where he is musically and looks forward to doing more with vocals and composition in the future. Besides those already mentioned, Bobby’s credentials include playing with Frankie Lane, Patti Page, The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, The Four Lads, Cab Calloway, Kay Kaiser, Ray Charles and Marilyn McCoo whenever they are in Florida. Bobby is definitely one young man with talent, intelligence, attitude and personality to climb to the top.