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Keeping up with…Bobby Broom

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Since our last interview, he has been doing a bit of everything. Bobby provides JGT with an update.

“I’m deep into my very first semester as Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar/Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, which is extremely exciting. I’m teaching a bunch of students (12), plus I have a Jazz Improvisation course that I teach. Next semester I’ll add a Music Business course to my load.

During this semester I’ve also been able to get out and about a bit with both of my groups – the Bobby Broom Trio (the guitar-based, bass and drums unit) and the Organi–Sation (the organ-based, guitar trio). About a month ago, the BBT performed at the first-ever, Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival in Arvada, CO (where you and I were able to meet in the flesh!). It was an industry show dedicated exclusively to luthiers of archtop (jazz) guitars, jazz guitar players and fans. I was proud to represent my guitar maker, Danny Koentopp and my amp manufacturer, Peter Henriksen (who produced and hosted), all in one! I have close, long-standing relationships with both of these guys. Then last week, the BBT made a short Midwest run, hitting Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and ending with a jazz guitar festival at a university in Ohio.

Next Month the Organi–Sation will do a couple of dates on the East Coast, in Boston and CT. The BBO just recorded some live material, that I plan to use to supplement some live concert material to release together. I thought it would be interesting to present the group live in contrasting settings – live concert with huge audiences and an intimate club setting. I’m also contemplating another BBT tribute album similar to the one that we did ten years ago for Monk. I’m thinking about another, iconic piano figure. So, 2020 might be one of those years for me that mirrors 2000, when I released two recordings back to back – one organ-based and the other, guitar trio.

It feels great to be vested in by an academic institution that recognizes and encourages my contribution to the field of jazz music and in both of the areas that I’ve been active in and have dedicated my life to – artistic/performance and academic/education.

It’s also great that I’m genuinely supported in my giving back in the form of teaching. Just the other day, I had a young man visit the school who was very familiar with my body of work and was super-excited to be sitting with me. How cool is that??! For him and me!” Bobby Broom

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