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,
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
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!
Conrad - Entertainment Reviewer