Bobby Broom

Aug. 20 • The Redmoor

Aug 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Guitarist Bobby Broom may not have the kind of high profile that some of his Jazz contemporaries enjoy but he has the kind of résumé that would make a good many of them green with envy.

The New York City native studied Folk guitar at 12, but switched to Jazz lessons a year later and went on to become a decorated high school standout in the Jazz ensemble. Broom actually began his Jazz career before graduation; at 16, he played Carnegie Hall behind Sonny Rollins and Donald Byrd. After two years at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, Broom returned to New York and worked in stints with Art Blakey, Dave Grusin, Tom Browne and Hugh Masekela while taking classes at Long Island University; in the mid-’80s, he moved to Chicago to focus intently on his career.

Since then, Broom has successfully balanced his formidable schedule as a guitarist for hire with his burgeoning solo career. He has worked with an astonishing array of Jazz greats — Miles Davis, Max Roach, Stanley Turrentine, Ramsey Lewis, Kenny Burrell, Charles Earland, Lonnie Smith and Sonny Rollins, who is once again touring and recording with regularly — while maintaining an acclaimed solo presence on the road and in the studio with his two groups, the Bobby Broom Trio and the Deep Blue Organ Trio.

In addition to sessioning, gigging and recording — 2001’s Stand! was a triumph of ’60s/’70s Pop/Soul standards reinterpreted in a modern Jazz setting — his most recent work, the just released Bobby Broom Plays for Monk, finds Broom freshly inspired by the legendary Thelonious Monk. Broom is also an in-demand educator and lecturer, sharing his knowledge and expertise with students at The American Conservatory of Music, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, DePaul University and the Ravinia Festival Organization, among many others.

It would seem the only thing Bobby Broom doesn’t do is relax.

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