•  Began piano lessons in 1963, and added guitar study in 1969 with Eric Jungemann in Overland Park, KS.

 

  • Played in jazz bands, rock bands, and various school productions on guitar and keyboard during high school. Added  theory.

 

  • Formed the band Sage with Mark Purcell (Great White Possum String Company), Rich Wall, Wayne Mathis and Gerald Trimble doing country rock and rhythm n blues, i.e. Dirt Band, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, etc. playing guitar and keyboards.

 

  • The pivotal point which changed my musical life and formed the basis for my teaching: Began an interest in jazz improv and began studying with John Elliott in 1973 after Gerald Trimble introduced us, and continued to study with John  until 1976. Emphasis became piano during this period, although the theory was applied to the guitar as well, which really opened up my understanding of the guitar fretboard. At this time I also became interested in writing songs and used the guitar as my primary compositional tool. My chord vocabulary “exploded” during these years, and I began to be able to sit in with other musicians playing the jazz standards, which opened up numerous opportunities.

 

  •  Started college study at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1977, and studied with pianist Claude Cymmerman and Jazz instructor John Sox. During that time I played in the DePauw University Jazz Ensemble, and also put a sort of avant-garde trio together with a cellist and sax player. We did our own compositions as well as “strange” versions of some of the jazz standards, playing campus venues for fun.

 

  •  Moved back to Kansas City for a year before enrolling at University of Miami’s Jazz program and during that year put together a standards band with Van DeHaven on bass, Mike Helton on sax, and Doug McBain on sax, using various drummers as we went along. We played some gigs around the northland area (private parties mostly), and a short stint at a place called Cat Ballou’s in Excelsior Springs before I headed to Florida.

 

  • While in Miami I hooked up with probably the most interesting band I’ve ever played with. I was the youngest (24), the drummer and band leader Nick Roscino was 40, the bassist Tony (can’t remember his last name) was 50, the sax player Jay was 65, and the vibes player Spooly was 80! We were the house band at Key Biscayne Yacht club and I really learned a bunch about playing standards and just keeping up with the changes. Those older guys knew all the tunes. I was playing piano at the time and one thing I remember the guys saying was “Learn the melodies of every tune you play, not just the chords. Learning the melodies will help you develop your solos.” During this time in Miami as well as all thru my high school years I taught private piano and guitar lessons.

 

  •  In 1982 I moved to the Tampa Bay area where I’ve lived and worked since, teaching private lessons, working in music ministry, playing private sector gigs with various groups as well as solo work (learning melody really did come in handy), and developing a successful full service piano tuning and repair business. I am a Registered Piano Technician in the Piano Technicians Guild and a longtime member of Southwest Florida Chapter 337.

 

  •   I continue to write and record, participate in music ministry, and  teach guitar and piano with an emphasis on the “music-think” that I learned from John, as well as the excellent resources that Jay EuDaly has provided.

Bob Horton

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