Jazz pianist Bobby Floyd will be a visiting guest artist at Eastman School of Music this February. He will perform alongside the Eastman Jazz Lab Band on their concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 20, in Kilbourn Hall, under the direction of Rich Thompson, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music.
Bobby Floyd has toured and performed extensively with Ray Charles, The Count Basie Orchestra, Rusty Bryant, Jeff Tyzik, Chris Howes, Byron Stripling, Sarah Morrow, and his own trio. His current touring schedule includes performances as featured soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Canada, including the Rochester Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Detroit Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Floyd is also a frequent soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, where his soulful sound has backed artists such as Chuck Mangione, Houston Person, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Mavis Staples, Gerald Wilson, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton, and countless others. His recent performances in Europe and Japan have garnered high praise, and he continues to accompany the top jazz, blues and gospel artists in the country.
“Besides being a gentleman, Bobby is the total embodiment of what professional musicians think of as Swing!” shares Rich Thompson, Director of the Eastman Jazz Lab Band. “I am very excited to have our students at Eastman around Bobby Floyd!”
Bobby has completed three recordings: Interpretations, Setting the Standards, and Floyd’s Finest Gift. His next project, soon to be released, is a live performance recorded in Spain. Other accomplishments include recording and composing on several of Vince Andrews’ and Chris Howes’ projects. He has also recorded with Gerald Levert (Groove On) and Faye Robinson (Remembering Marian Anderson). Additionally, he is featured on a Rusty Bryant album, Rusty Rides Again, which received five stars in Downbeat magazine.
Floyd has taught at The Ohio State University, his own private studio, and Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshops. His critically acclaimed CDs Interpretations, Setting the Standards, Floyd’s Finest Gift, and Notes to and from My Friends demonstrate his ability to electrify audiences, and have received the highest praise from critics and musicians alike. Bobby also performs on the world-famous Jazz Cruise, Marian’s Jazz Room in Berne, Switzerland, and all across the country with the Byron Stripling Quartet.
The Eastman Jazz Lab Band, directed by Rich Thompson, is a full 17-piece jazz ensemble consisting of undergraduate and graduate students. The ensemble performs a full range of big band repertoire including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Bill Holman, and more. The band also performs arrangements by known Eastman Jazz alumni and current Eastman Jazz student arrangers. The band is on a new track, bringing in an exciting guest soloist for its spring concert each year.
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About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.
About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division– about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, as have numerous GRAMMYÒ Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.