Bobby Broom

Many musicians would love to have one musical breakthrough. Bobby Broom, a guitarist in Jazz, seems to have an endless supply of these after a long and distinguished career. Bobby Broom Plays For Monk, his 2009 album featuring his Chicago trio, was an artistic triumph with its “daring arrangements”, (JazzTimes), and “small gems in musical discovery”(DownBeat). It was the culmination of a series of recordings that Broom recorded to promote himself as a mentor and leader of young talent. Broom’s other band the Deep Blue Organ Trio achieved mass commercial attention in 2011 with its fourth album, Wonderful! which featured a stunning collection of Stevie Wonder songs. It was a crossover success in every sense and it also affirmed Steely Dan’s request to have them open for him on his recent tours. Broom is now part of a very exclusive group of Jazz guitarists, with a distinctive sound and pervasive influence. Broom was a 16 year old prodigy who attended New York’s High School of Music and Art. He performed several nights a weeks with pianist Al Haig at Gregory’s on 62nd Street. In turn, he declined an invitation by Sonny Rollins for him to travel. Four years later, he accepted the invitation to go on the road. He had already started his career in New York City at the Berklee College of Music. He enjoyed two stints (1982-1987, 2005-2010) and three more with the legendary tenor saxophonist. He explained why he likes the guitar. He has a strong sixth sense of music. As Art Blakey’s legendary guitarist, he was asked to join Jazz Messengers. Broom, Wynton Marsalis and a new recruit, signed up instead. He joined his Queens friends Omar Hakim, Marcus Miller, Bernard Wright, and Tom Browne’s crossover band. Clean Sweep was his debut album on GRP Records. It featured a blend of jazz and urban soul. He sang and played in the style of George Benson’s Breezin’ and the keyboard-heavy, Livin’ for the Beat. He moved from New York to Chicago in 1984. There he played with Rollins and Kenny Burrell. He was also a teacher at the American Conservatory of Music, Roosevelt University, and most recently at DePaul University. In addition to his role as a Ravinia Festival jazz mentor for high school students, he taught at Roosevelt University and the American Conservatory of Music. Broom formed his own guitar trio in 1991 with Dennis Carroll as bassist and Kobie Watkins as drummer. Modern Man (2001), a session with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber featuring Idris Muhammad and two albums by his trio Stand (2001 and Song and Dance (2006), which Pat Metheny described as “one of my favorite jazz trio records” (2001). Broom also offered clever reworkings pop songs such as “Wichita Lineman,” “The Letter,” and “Layla.” Broom showed forethought by adopting a jazz approach to nontraditional material and recognising the importance of reaching broader audiences that were not familiar with traditional jazz. from

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