Bob Arthurs is from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY where he began his trumpet lessons at the age of eight. His first teacher was the renown NYC studio musician Joe Shepley. At the age of 13, Bob had his first trumpet student and his first gig. The gig paid $3.
The first band he played with was the Variations founded by his friends from junior high, Alan Freedman and Carl Peachman. They played at high school parties and some school dances. They also had regular jam sessions at Alan's house. Those sessions were a great experience, and that's where Bob was first exposed to contemporary jazz. Alan's older brother, Joel, who played the upright bass, had dozens of jazz albums and he was constantly playing them on the Hi-Fi. To Bob, as a jazz trumpet player wannabee, those recordings of Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, and John Coltrane just seemed so much more interesting than the rock 'n roll music that all his schoolmates were listening to. In high school Bob played first trumpet with the concert band, the jazz band, the orchestra and he sang in the school choir. He also acted in a few plays.
After high school Bob attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with the first trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mel Broiles. From there he joined the faculty of the Westchester Conservatory of Music (now the Music Conservatory of Westchester). He was on the faculty from 1972 until 2005 when he retired. From 1988 to 1990 he was coordinator of the school's Arts in Education program, which brought faculty into area public schools for educational performances. From 1990 to 2005 he was the school's Dean of Students and Faculty and also the head of its jazz department. As head of the Jazz Department Bob produced many concerts for the school that featured such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Milt Hinton, Max Roach, Sheila Jordan and Harvie S, Sal Mosca, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, James Moody, John Faddis, Lionel Hampton, Christian McBride, Doc Cheatham, and many others. He also organized hundreds of faculty and student recitals and regular jam sessions where students were encouraged to play with professionals.
During the 1970's and 80's Bob studied with the great jazz pianist and teacher, Sal Mosca, and performed with him at the Bim Huis in Amsterdam in 2007. During the 1980's Bob also returned to school and received a Master's degree in Russian Language and Literature from SUNY Albany. Bob spent the 1989 fall semester studying in Moscow and playing with Russian jazz musicians.
The Tristan Quartet: In the mid 1980's Bob began working regularly with a quintet at the Angry Squire in Manhattan. The group had a few personnel changes, but eventually coalesced around Bob, Dave Frank on tenor sax, Jon Easton on piano, Joe Solomon on bass, and Tim Pleasant on drums. Tim eventually moved to California, but the rest of the band has stayed together for almost 30 years. Tristan is one of the few groups that feature compositions by Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, and Lee Konitz in addition to the more usual jazz standards. Gigs or not, the group sessions almost every week and records regularly.
Bob and Steve: Bob has been playing with Steve LaMattina, the guitarist on Jazz for Svetlana, for over ten years. They have worked as a duo and also with rhythm sections of various sizes in many venues in the New York area.
Bob has played and recorded with many jazz artists. In addition, he has five CD's under his name: Notes From the Underground, Jazz for Svetlana, Jazz for Molly, Jazz it Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads (Listen on the audio page), and the latest, Jazz for Anya. All 5 CD's feature standards and original compositions and both are available through this website, from CDbaby, spotify, amazon.com, and iTunes.
In August, 2017 Bob was invited to perform and to speak at the Music In The Alps Festival in Bad Gastein, Austria. In August, 2018 he will again be performing and also coordinating the jazz department of the Festival. Please visit musicinthealps.com for further information.
Our new CD, Jazz for Anya, was released February, 2021, and is available through this website. It features Bob, Steve LaMattina, guitar, Alexa Fila, vocals, and Svetlana Gorokhovich, piano.
Because of Covid 19, Music in the Alps Festival 2019 had to be cancelled.
See "gigs" for performance information.