PERFORMER / TEACHER / PRODUCEREven at his young age Bobby has years of experience professionally performing and producing at the highest levels 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 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.
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.
Here’s some video from the Padres PCL throwback night that I played earlier in 2013. This was the first night game to feature the organ. I had about 50 people in the stands that I brought so it was a fun night. Unfortunately the fedora and oversize jersey make me look like a member of the band Smashmouth.
This is the song ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ by Henry Mancini. It’s a famous baseball song, especially so since being immortalized by the Dancing Homer in ‘The Simpsons’.
One week ago I headed up to a Studio in El Monte to shoot a video with my friend Jane Lui. She gathered a bunch of talented folks together including Phil Yu of the Angry Asian Man blog, Tamlyn Tomita, my friends Danny Morledge and Greg Friedman, and Andy Lowe and Goh Nakamura. Jane’s musical vibe is quirky and whimsical, and this video delivers on that front in spades. I played melodica and did the running man.
Back in July while I was playing organ at a Padres day game I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of really interesting people from New York. It was a pair of lifelong buddies who had both reached their 50th birthday and had taken half a year of their lives to go see and chronicle 50 different baseball games all over the country. They were also painstakingly blogging each game and I believe at this writing (late November) that though they’ve likely seen all 50 games, they aren’t finished writing up all the summaries. I really enjoy having conversations like this with people who are visiting Petco Park from out of town. It gives me the chance to be an ambassador for our city and I am always fascinated to hear the different reasons people decide to come to a Padres game.
Here’s a Link to the summary of the Padres game they attended
And this is the Home Page for their blog
Tom D’Agostino and Greg Finch both have successful careers in academia, but were able to somehow set aside the time necessary to criss cross the country taking in their 50 games. Their website has accounts of minor league games, college games, MLB games and international games. I suggest poking around their site a little even if only with a quick glance. When I checked it out I was inspired by the idea of a lifelong friendship and the idea of keeping track of so many different games, not to mention all the travel and adventure that must go along with that.
They also had some nice words to say about the organ at the ballpark which is always cool with me.
Last Thursday my friend Nate Jarrell (a killing jazz guitar player in San Diego), invited me to come to the digital composition class he teaches at Canyon Crest Academy (a high school in Carmel Valley). These kids have been working with Reason and learning the basics of recording, notation, how to shape a composition and mix and master it. (With a start like that these kids are going to be ahead of the game. I can’t tell you how amazing classes like this would have been when I was in High School. The barrier to entry back in the late 90s was a much different story than it is today, so such a class wouldn’t have really been feasible).
Nate asked me to talk about writing music for film and television and to play some examples for the students. I took that approach but went beyond the scope of that simple task, ultimately dispensing a ton of career advice and thoughts on the creative process and tools for how to work with people. When I teach piano I often surprise myself with how many solid lessons I really have at my disposal. Often I don’t realize this until I start teaching it and the explanations and approaches keep flowing out of my mind and mouth. With the subject matter for Canyon Crest, it was no different, and though I was initially worried about filling up 30 minutes, I found that I had a solid hour and a half of material. I also learned a bit about pacing and structure and trying to captivate a young audience. If you are looking for affirmation as a public speaker, High School probably isn’t the place to find it. But most of the students were really interested in what I had to say, and they loved hearing and seeing examples of my work. I played them examples of ads I’d scored and excerpts from Rob’s Fantasy Factory and World Of Jenks that featured my music. I also played them the Jazz piano cue used in Thor: The Dark World, which was timely as the movie had opened the weekend before my talk and lots of students had seen it.
We were cruising with Q and A (though Q and A really happened the whole time), when Nate interrupted from the side saying there was 2 minutes left in the period. With that I brought it to a close, and though there was much I felt I still hadn’t said, I’m sure I had said plenty. When I got home I watched some footage of the talk (I filmed some of it) and was a) pleasantly surprised with how cohesive and smooth it appeared objectively (despite the jolted way it seemed to come off in my mind) and b) interested to see how body language played a role in my speaking style and how I used movement effectively (and ineffectively).
And now that I’ve done it once, I feel like a music industry preacher eager to speak again and refine every aspect of my presentation. Nate said we’ll do it again next year, but hopefully there will be more opportunities before then.