Bobby Broom

Robert Broom Jr. (born January 18, 1961) is an American jazz guitarist, composer, and educator. He was born and raised in New York City, then moved to Chicago, which has been his home town since 1984.[1] He performs and records with The Bobby Broom Trio and his organ group, The Bobby Broom Organi-Sation. While versed in the traditional jazz (bebop and post-bop) idioms, Broom draws from a variety of American music forms, such as funk, soul, R&B, and blues.[2]

Bobby Broom
Broom before the Jazz à Juan festival, July 22, 2005
Background information
Birth nameRobert Broom Jr.
Born (1961-01-18) January 18, 1961
New York City
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, jazz funk, soul jazz
LabelsDelmark, Arista, Criss Cross, Fantasy, Origin
Associated actsSonny Rollins, Deep Blue Organ Trio


Broom was born in Harlem (1961) and raised on New York City's Upper West Side (1970s). Broom began studying the guitar at age 12, taking lessons first in folk music. A year later, he began studies with jazz guitarist Jimmy Carter in Harlem, where he took weekly lessons for the next two years. He attended the High School of Music and Art (Laguardia High School of Performing Arts), where he played in the jazz ensemble and received an award for Outstanding Jazz Improvisation during his senior year. Broom began his career while still in high school, performing at New York clubs with Charlie Parker pianists, Al Haig, and Walter Bishop, Jr.. In 1977 he played at Carnegie Hall in a concert with Sonny Rollins and Donald Byrd.

He went to the Berklee School of Music from 1978–79, then returned to New York to pursue his career while attending Long Island University. He began working in New York as guitarist for Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Dave Grusin, Hugh Masekela, and Tom Browne and signed a contract with GRP. In the 1980s, he moved to Chicago. He formed The Bobby Broom Trio in 1990, the Deep Blue Organ Trio with Chris Foreman and Greg Rockingham in 1999, and The Bobby Broom Organi-Sation in 2014.

Broom's childhood heroes include Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and Pat Martino. He has worked with Art Blakey, Max Roach, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Garrett, Miles Davis, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Ron Blake, Eric Alexander, Ron Carter, and Ramsey Lewis.

In 2009 he recorded Bobby Broom Plays for Monk with its cover shot of the red wagon Monk used for the album Monk's Music.[3]

Broom's first release of exclusively original compositions was Upper West Side Story (2012). The album reached No. 1. on the College Music Journal jazz chart and was in the Jazz Week and Down Beat Top Albums of 2012.[4]

As an educator, Broom began his work in 1982 for Jackie McLean, Director of African American Music at Studies for the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. Over the years Broom has also been a lecturer at the American Conservatory of Music (1986–1990), Chicago Musical College — Roosevelt University (1990–1994), The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (1987), DePaul University (2002–2008) and North Park University. He teaches Chicago high school students for the Ravinia Festival Organization's community outreach Jazz Scholar Program. In 2005 he attended Northwestern University for his master's degree in jazz pedagogy.

Awards and honors

  • DownBeat Readers' Poll 2015[5]
  • DownBeat Critics' Poll 2014[6]
  • DownBeat Critics' Poll 2013[7]
  • DownBeat Critics' Poll 2012[8]


As leader

  • Clean Sweep (GRP, 1981)
  • Livin' for the Beat (Arista, 1984)
  • No Hype Blues (Criss Cross, 1995)
  • Waitin' and Waitin' (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Modern Man (Delmark, 2001)
  • Stand! (Premonition, 2001)
  • Song and Dance (Origin, 2007)
  • The Way I Play: Live in Chicago (Origin, 2008)
  • Bobby Broom Plays for Monk (Origin, 2009)
  • Upper West Side Story (Origin, 2012)
  • My Shining Hour (Origin, 2014)
  • Soul Fingers (Clean Sweep/MRI, 2018)[9]

With Deep Blue Organ Trio

  • Deep Blue Bruise, (Delmark, 2004)
  • Goin' to Town: Live at the Green Mill, (Delmark, 2006)
  • Folk Music, (Origin, 2007)
  • Wonderful!, (Origin, 2011)

As sideman

With Tom Browne

With Kenny Burrell

With Dr. John

  • 1997 Trippin' Live
  • 1998 Anutha Zone (Virgin)
  • 2000 Duke Elegant (Blue Note)

With Charles Earland

  • 1988 Front Burner (Milestone)
  • 1989 Third Degree Burn (Milestone)

With David Murray

With Sonny Rollins

With Pharez Whitted

  • 2010 Transient Journey (Owl)
  • 2012 For the People (Origin)

With others


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