I'm a bass player who writes & performs all kinds of new music, including new jazz with my six piece band "HEAD2HEAD", and new music theatre, with a number of shows to my name. My first ever operatic composition, "Flora and the Prince", premieres at Carnegie Hall, New York in October this year.
I'm also an experienced music educator with two jazz improvisation text books, "Starting Out" and "Putting it Together", published by Faber Music.
There's more about all this on the news pages of this website.
There are loads of tracks for you to listen to and some videos too, and if you prefer live music there are usually some some gigs coming up - you can check them out on the events page!
Do visit my guest page to make a comment or just to say hi. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the contact form.
If it's urgent phone me on +44 7946 861520
The next thing is Carnegie Hall, New York with my new short opera "Flora and the Prince".
Thanks for checking me out - there are some cool jazz, bagpipes & show tracks, and three videos for you to watch.
Graham Robb DRSAM
After qualifying from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in 1971, I immediately joined the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, in which I played double bass for most of the seventies, recording and broadcasting almost daily and performing all over Scotland, in London, and in Hong Kong.
At the same time I was a founder member, with Bill Kyle, of the Glasgow-based jazz-rock band HEAD, which also toured the UK and to Europe, and for which I wrote much of the music for three albums before moving on to write for my big-band WINDJAMMER, which was another UK touring band and which featured many of the musicians of the BBC Scottish Radio orchestra.
At this time I also started to write and record music for radio and television in Scotland and also for release worldwide; commissions at this time included writing new highland bagpipe music for cable TV in New York.
Since then I have worked almost constantly as a freelance musician in studios, concert halls, and theatres throughout the UK, taking a few years out in the eighties to create the first full-time rock music course in the UK at Perth College, and writing two jazz performance textbooks, "Starting Out" and "Putting it Together", which are still published in the UK by Faber Music.
I was Assistant Director of Music at prestigious Glenalmond College from 2004 until summer 2009, where, as well as my regular music teaching duties I was responsible for teaching all music technology & composition, conducted the choir, the orchestras, coached the jazz band, and MD'd the shows.
Although a big part of my heart is, and always will be, in jazz and improvised music, I've also had the very good fortune to play for dozens of music theatre shows with Mr John Scrimger, and, having learned some of the tricks of the trade "at the master's feet", I've collaborated as the composer with various scriptwriters to create a number of new music theatre shows, all of which have premiered at the Edinburgh Festival. A particularly successful show was a spoof on the whole TV talent show phenomenon, called "Fame Game".
A new christmas show, for which the demos are being recorded by two immensely talented singers in Los Angeles, is approaching completion, and, STOP PRESS NEWS, another new show, "En route to the enormous room", which features new settings of poems by the pacifist American poet E.E. Cumming, is premiering in the Jazz Bar during this year's Edinburgh Festival.
A more detailed, if somewhat non-chronoligical chronology is.....
1962-68: Aberdeen Grammar School - studied piano under Donald Hawkesworth
1968-72: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama - studied piano under Miles Coverdale and double-bass under Peter Moore
1972-77: full-time rank & file double bass player with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
1977-84: freelance musician with every orchestra, radio and television company, and professional theatre in Scotland, particularly principle double bass with City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra
1984-90: created and lectured at rock music course at Perth College
1990-04: freelance musician again, particularly "Phantom of the Opera" at the Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh.
2004-2009: Assistant Director of Music at Glenalmond College, with responsibility for choral and orchestral conducting, teaching composition/ song writing & music technology
1969-81: founder member of Glasgow-based jazz/rock ensemble "HEAD"
1975-79: established jazz/rock big-band "WINDJAMMER"
1976: Scottish Arts Council funded commission "Above the Hill" - six part song-cycle for solo soprano (singer) and big-band, and which toured theatres throughout the UK
1997-present: reformed jazz/rock ensemble as "HEAD2HEAD"
2001: commissioned to write "Life Cycle" - a ballet performed at the Tramway, Glasgow - principal choreographer Royston Maldoom
1978 - present: professional membership of PRS as a writer and as a publisher
Writer of jazz compositions and jazz flavoured songs and compositions since 1969, with published compositions on albums by "HEAD" and "HEAD2HEAD".
1976: Signature music for BBC Scotland drama department
1985(?) Signature music for "Rockschool" series on Radio Tay.
1990: Jazz improvisation textbooks "Starting Out" & "Putting it Together" published by Faber Music
1990: Library Music for New York publishers DSM Producers of New York, for worldwide distribution
1992: Commission of new music for highland bagpipes for New York cable Television through DSM Producers of New York (now in Florida)
Shows for which I composed the songs and incidental music, and for which I was also Musical Director:
1979: "Clearing the Lines" - Edinburgh Festival & Glasgow
1979: "Gentlemen, we Love You" - Edinburgh Festival
1980: "How Handsome to be Seen" - Dundee Repertory Theatre
1981: "Whaling" - Dundee Repertory Theatre
1982: "The Tempest" - Dundee Repertory Theatre
1998(?): "Area 51" - Glasgow
2005: "Fame Game" - Glenalmond College & Edinburgh Festival (www.nextgenpublications.com)
2006: "Twelfth Night" - Glenalmond College
2011: "En route to the enormous room"
"Eternal Christmas" - a youth theatre oriented "alternative": Christmas show (NextGen Publications)
Researching background for an opera on the life of Alexander Russell and the sinking of the Birkenhead - Bob Robinson is writing the book and lyrics NOW! (summer of 2010)
New programme of Scottish-flavoured jazz compositions for "HEAD2HEAD", some with bagpipes!
More bagpipes - a possible animation project!
A new wheeze: recording the demos for "Eternal Xmas" over the Internet with two great singers, Gabrielle Wagner & Joshua Finkel, who are in Los Angeles. (I'm in Scotland right now!) Should be completed in late spring 2011
STOP PRESS: A new show "En route to the enormous room", which is about events in the life of the pacifist American poet E.E. Cummings, and which features new settings of seven of his poems is completed. Scripted by Bob Bob Robinson, it is to premier at the Edinburgh International Festival in early August 2011.
HEAD2HEAD is the sextet for which I write most of my new jazz. Tunes from the shows I write often sneak into the programme! There's a lot more stuff about the band on the HEAD2HEAD page.
As well as playing double bass & bass guitar for more music theatre shows than I can possibly remember, I have also worked as the musical director of the following, some of which feature my compositions* but which are in no particular order.
Clearing the Lines*
Gentlemen, we Love you*
En route to the enormous room*
Little Shop of Horrors
Fiddler on the Roof
West Side Story
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat
The last one in that list, "Lush Life", which is essentially the Ella Fitzgerald song book with some acting in between the songs had a very strong cast and toured extensively in 2009, including at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2009.
To celebrate his eightieth birthday, at Richard Demarco's request I co-ordinated and MD'd a retrospective concert, with the original cast members, of shows he'd come to see which I'd MD'd during my time at Glenalmond College. We performed songs from "Lush Life", "Cabaret", "Twelfth Night" and "Porgy and Bess".