Sharing the biggest stages with some of the greatest R&B legends, jazz lions, and hip-hop heavyweights in the game, Chris Rob has established his presence on all fronts as a pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer. Just as a true point guard is a rare commodity in the NBA, Robís musicianship and ability to get the most out of his fellow musicians have given him the reputation as an MVP alongside musicís very greatest.
In Robís case, doing what he does best involves gracefully crossing over genres in every performance. From the age of four in Chicagoís south side, he studied classical piano and quickly learned drums, bass, and guitar. By the next decade he was in jazz clubs, refining his skills and developing his unique stage presence. Rob cites the godfather of soul, James Brown, as his chief inspiration, along with Herbie Hancock, Prince, John Coltrane, and Rakim. Over the years, he has graced many stages across the globe, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theater, The Blue Note, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Sai International Auditorium in India, the Jakharta International Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, the Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival in Spain, and the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Grammy Awards, VH1's Hip Hop Honors, as well as NBC's The Office and Last Comic Standing, on which he wrote and performed a live skit.
Robís latest album, Mental Notes (2010), shares all the facets of his effortless gifts and garnered recognition from Soultracks.com as one of the top albums of 2010. His most noteworthy accomplishments to date include his performance with Stevie Wonder at President Obama's Pre-Inaugural Ball, being featured on Kanye Westís Grammy Award-winning album Graduation, and serving as Music Director for John Legendís Get Lifted Tour, which culminated in the DVD release of John Legend: Live at the House of Blues. When Rob is not on stage or in the studio, heís working behind the scenes as a writer and stage director for his brother, comedian, actor, and musician Craig Robinson (The Office), as well as collaborating with classic hip-hop artists Pete Rock & CL Smooth and Black Moon.
Currently, Rob is putting the finishing touches on a live album, scoring for several independent films, and will appear on Lauryn Hillís highly anticipated studio project. Widely recognized and praised by his peers, he is a musician who has built a professional reputation for his distinct talent. ďThis brother captivates your mind with authentic funk and soul in his own sincere fashion,Ē says the critically acclaimed DJ Spinna. Rob makes an intimate connection with music that audiences feel immediately, which Meshell Ndegeocello puts even more succinctly: ďHis music is a reflection of who he is, a beautiful person.Ē
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