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"HORN PLAYER SIDEMAN EMERGES TO THE FRONT"

ROBBIE SMITH - BIOGRAPHY

Having toured all over the world with Candye Kane; played on cruise ships; in the Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus; and making television appearances on The Penn and Teller Show, Donny and Marie, Roseanne and various other European entertainment shows, Robbie "Trumpet" Smith is a true performer!  With his first trumpet ordered right out of a Sears catalog, Robbie started playing when he was only ten years old.  His parents required that he and his siblings participate in music throughout Junior High School. 

Robbie recalls the frustration he experienced as a kid; his music lessons were more of a chore than a joy.  Of course, it didn't help that he'd selected one of the most difficult instruments to master.  However, once started down the "trumpet-player" path, Robbie began to hear trumpets in everything from cartoons to sitcoms.  Briefly quitting the trumpet during high school, Robbie quickly resumed his lessons with a newfound appreciation and quest to hit those high notes, after hearing Maynard Ferguson, play at his High School in Escondido, California.                       

Looking back, Robbie admits "the '80s created much frustration when the music instrumentation changed from acoustic mainstream to 'cheesy' synthesized sampling."  Determined to try something different, Robbie rebuilt an electric bass guitar, and joined a cover band called Slightly Bent when he was eighteen.  On a trip to Las Vegas, in search of stardom Robbie's rebuilt bass was stolen, causing him to pick up the trumpet once again.  Robbie joined various cover bands such as The Detroit Underground, Tune Smith, and other Big Bands waiting it out.

Robbie joined the Fabulous Ultratones in the mid '90s and still enjoys gigging with them in the San Diego area.  The late '90s brought Big Band music back into the scene, taking a huge step back in time to the sounds of the '40s and '50s.  Robbie found his place in a Blues Band playing with Shelly at Croce's in San Diego, which led to more gigs and the opportunity to join Candye Kane, Jonny Viau, and Sue Palmer.  Robbie spent three years touring around Europe with Candye Kane, to such places as France, Belgium, Turkey, Holland, and Australia as well as extensive Domestic touring. 

Presently, Robbie's lifelong dream to make his own music CD has finally come to fruition, and would not have been possible without the help of several of his fellow musicians and close personal friends. Taking a few months off from the daily grind, Robbie focused primarily on writing songs and arranging music, which he recorded in Long Beach and Oceanside earlier this year.  "It was quite a learning experience," said Robbie.  When asked about his singing debut, Robbie admits that, "It's something I've always wanted to try," although he considers himself "a trumpet player who sings, not a singer who plays trumpet."

Robbie admits it took him twenty-some years to "figure it out," but he's managed to develop his own unique style.  Originally adopting the saxophone style to be more accepted, Robbie feels that no other player plays quite like he does.  It's taken years of practice and study, but he's certainly developed his own slant from the way he looks, plays, and performs. "Music is a way of life for me," says Robbie, who has aspirations of opening his own recording studio.  Robbie released his debut CD, "Workin' Like A Dog" in May, and is already thinking about his next one. 

A Southern California native, Robbie currently makes his home in Long Beach and gigs steadily in the San Diego area.  You can find Robbie playing with such bands as Blue Largo, The Fabulous Ultratones, Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing Orchestra, Jonny Viau and The Blues Allstars, The Modern Jazz Majestics, Big Band Express, 2000 Lbs of Blues, and at one time or another has played at practically every venue in the San Diego area.  His sound is pure, simple and perfectly executed! 

By Teri Conrad - Entertainment Reviewer

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