Robert’s career as a keyboardist has thus far encompassed 25 years of professional roadwork, music education both in-person and virtual, and worship leadership – all as a self-taught musician. The foundation of his music has long been an intuitive, but now purposeful, two-step process: the right SOUND matters exactly as much as the right notes do, and equally. Whether getting under the hood of new keyboard tech to tweak menu settings or building new patches for recording and touring applications, reproducing accurate vintage tones for covers work, and having the same palette to draw from while making new music, is at the bedrock of Robert’s mission at the keys.
Being a young musician in the 90s in New York City meant that Robert entered the gigging scene at the same time as keyboard technology pushed into its post-modern phase: the 88-key all-in-one-box digital workstation, virtual analog synthesizer, and the clone-wheel all were being introduced in the same period, bringing classic sounds and touches like the feel of a real Hammond organ to working musicians in more portable and powerful forms. Initially inspired by the classic rock keyboard heroes of the 60s and 70s, many of whom made the Hammond foundational to their work, Robert kept following his ears to perfect the right blend of chops, tone, and soul while freelancing in and around a city where every kind of music can be called on any gig at any time (the NYC-area musicians know!). The ability to field an obscure request on the fly, with the right tones and parts at the ready, has helped keep Robert’s contact info just a text or call away for many bandleaders over his career.
The arc of developing a sound and style that is uniquely personal led Robert to keep coming back to keyboards that had waterfall keys, drawbars, and all of the other special features that make a Hammond organ a specific keyboard experience, in both sound and form in its own right. Getting to an ideal working keyboard rig that feels like a Hammond but can handle all of the sounds, splits and layers that a pro would need on the road, has been an amazing journey that is taking a new turn working with the Hammond company and using the SKXPro.
Robert can be seen most recently at the home of the Band Geek podcast, created by Blue Oyster Cult guitarist Richie Castellano, where a full compliment of studio performances over the years, as we as official clips from their recent tour with Jon Anderson, the voice and founding member of Yes, are located. Robert lives and works in Staten Island, NY with his wife (who is also a vocalist and pianist) and three children, and is thrilled to know that whether in his home studio with his 1964 Hammond B3 & Leslie 122 or out on the road with the SKXPro, he can share the joy of this amazing instrument as part of the Hammond family of artists.