As one of the most versatile keyboardists on the West Coast, Bobby Cressey often finds himself pigeon holed by people who only know him for one particular style. The straight ahead jazz lovers might have no idea that he is an authority on keyboard playing in Jamaican ska and reggae. People who hear him perform classical piano could be clueless about his skills in programming keyboards and commercial pop chops, or might never guess that he regularly plays the organ for thousands of people at baseball games or backs up lounge singers in his spare time. Bobby has years of experience professionally performing and producing in multiple styles of music. For years he played with the world famous DJ Skee’s Skeetox band, currently plays organ for the San Diego Padres and San Diego Gulls, and has performed with Ice Cube, Jesse McCartney, Xzibit, Lil’ John, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Bobby Brown, The Glenn Miller big band and the Tom Kubis Big Band at Goldenwest. Bobby plays in San Diego's premier corporate top 40 band, The Mighty Untouchables, in addition to several original projects including Tiffy Jane and the Kicks as well as his own jazz piano and organ combos. He's also a founding member of 'Western Standard Time', an 18 piece ensemble that plays the traditional ska of the Skatalites with big band arrangements.

Bobby is also an accomplished composer and producer. His music can be heard through multiple outlets including television, movies, terrestrial, streaming and satellite radio, and video games. He also maintains an active roster of students, teaching a wide range of styles to students of all ages and walks of life. His newest album 'Cali Native' is an entirely self funded release and showcases brilliant horn arranging and a strong ensemble of Southern California's very best musicians with tons of groove based funk and soul.

Since 2010 he has lived in the University Heights area of San Diego, although he continues to work extensively in Hollywood and all of Southern California. He has a passion for moving others through his music, whether it be through performing, teaching or composing.

The Fruits of This Week

After yesterday I was ready to set my piano on fire because nothing seemed to be going terribly well. Then when I came home and tried to frantically mix the stuff in 30 min as well as taking my roommate to the airport, the results went from bad to worse. There were a handful of notes that just dominated the whole sound in the bass, and they were messing everything up. And yet I had to submit it by noon, so I didn’t really have time to zero in and salvage it much. I faced all sorts of creative decisions that needed to be made quickly: do I compress it? If so, how much? how much reverb is good? Do I limit it to push the volume? how much of the ambient mic do I bring it? How should I EQ these 3 mics? Boring but crucial questions. So when I gave the songs a last pass right before rushing off to work, they seemed harsh, brittle and yet boomy; all horrible adjectives for music.

So I gave them another listen this morning and it turns out, they are not that horrible. They are not that great either, but I think these songs may make the mark for ‘inspirational songs’. If it seems like there isn’t enough development and they are boring pieces, that’s kind of the point. Picture these as a background during some montage about social anxiety disorder medication.

(P.S., I know the second one sounds kind of like ‘Firm Foundation’ that old CCM song. Well, it happens)

And here is the Dancehall track I was working on Monday. I think it’s okay, but for some reason the bass isn’t pumping like I thought it would. I need to take a look at my subwoofer.


Battling a Piano All Morning

That’s what I’ve been doing as I recorded all these supposedly easy ‘Inspirational Solo Piano’ pieces. But all it did was show how shot my technique is. It may not be hard to play a 4 note ostinato over and over, but it may be a REAL challenge to do it with the right balance and so that it doesn’t rush at all. Man there is so much to playing this instrument. Even in the simplest song there is so much control you need to exert over the piano, it’s humbling, sobering, frustrating. It can ruin your week, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to actually record and you’re under the gun. And as I write this, I’m out of time again and have to RUSH off to work. Having to hurry to finish up what you’re trying to do to run off to work is the ultimate buzz kill. Not to knock anyone at work, but nobody at work cares or really knows about what I’m trying to do in the hours I’m not at work. They don’t understand that you had to wait for your tracks to bounce down and upload or you had to take your roommate to the airport, or that you’re rushing home to work on music until the second you have to come back again the next day. I wouldn’t expect it any other way, that’s the way it is in life: you handle your business and don’t bring baggage into the work place if you can help it. You show up to work and do a good job at work and apply your mind there. I just wish the music WAS my full time work.


Up Early

I woke up dreaming about finding water. I’d crack open a bottle of water in my dream and drink it, only to find that I was still thirsty. When I woke up I had the driest mouth I’ve had since coming out of my surgery 11 years ago!

I Need to finish this blasted Dancehall track with headphones before heading off to work at 10 AM today. I was shooting for 2 Dancehall tracks, but it looks like I’m only going to be able to get one done.

My huge issue right now is that my car’s iPod connection is damaged, so I only get one channel in the car (the right side) off the iPod, so it’s pretty useless for testing mixes. I have to burn CDs to play in the car, and I hate chewing through CDrs like that, as well as wasting them!


A Monday of Music, More on Paul Smith

Today I worked on pieces for two different listings. At my house in Lomita, soul suckingly situated between a sheet metal shop and a Korean Barbershop, I worked on a Dancehall/reggaeton track. That may seem unusual for those who know me, but the ugly reality is that I probably have more experience tracking that kind of stuff than anything else because of all the hours I’ve logged in Mark Mohr’s studio doing Christafari cuts. I’ve been on every Christafari/Avionblackman/’Imisi/Solomon Jabby album since 2003, playing and creating reggae and dancehall. So now I got a crack at one all my own: a simple instrumental track between 1 and 3 minutes in length.

Then I took a trip over to my mom’s where my piano resides, and continued to pound out light new agey solo piano stuff for a listing that’s asking for ‘inspirational instrumentals’. I started writing some of this on Friday, then continued last night after church, and actually kind of came up with one while playing AT church last night during a time when I was playing background stuff.

These two worlds are obviously very different, and that makes it fun. Whenenver I’m over the inspirational piano stuff, I can go dig in to a bunch of heavy dancehall stuff and vice versa.

Then later on today I headed down to Huntington Beach for Tom Kubis’s big band. I asked him about Paul Smith and he knows him well, and worked with him for years in Steve Allen’s band. He had lots of amazing stories which I may recount later.

He also gave me a compliment on a fill I did before Benny came in with a sax solo. Freaking sweet!!!!


CLICK HERE for a full calendar of upcoming live dates


-Had music placed on the new show 'Donnie Loves Jenny' on A&E at the beginning of 2015

-Check out my recent blogpost about placements in 2014

-2013/2014: Had a prominent placement in 'Thor 2: The Dark World'. My cue is in a restaurant scene for over a minute.

-Had music placed on the Sundance Channel at the end of 2013 in 'All On The Line With Joe Zee'

-My music is featured on DJ SKEE's show SKEELIVE on AXS TV throughout 2013 and 2014

-I have multiple hip hop cues on 'Rob's Fantasy Factory' seasons 3-6 airing on MTV continuously.

-I have music on a new show on TLC called 'Best Funerals'. (say what!?) airing in late 2013 / early 2014. The show will feature a handful of gospel cues that I wrote.

-I placed a Dramedy Cue called 'Sneaky Groover' in the season premiere of 'World Of Jenks' on MTV in the Spring of 2013.