“Playing music is a life long commitment. There are always new things to consider and develop. I’m exhilarated and humbled by music on a daily basis, and plan to continue on this path until my last day on earth.” These words pretty much sums up Bob Mintzer’s approach to music.
Bob leads several musical lives that, at times, seem humanly impossible for one person to sustain. He is a 20 year member of the Grammy award winning Yellowjackets, leads his own Grammy winning big band, is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, does workshops all over the world, writes books on jazz, writes for orchestra, concert band, and big band, travels with his own quartet, and plays with numerous other bands around the globe. He is equally active in the composing, performing and educational fields.
Bob has written over 200 big band arrangements. His big band music is played over the world, and has influenced numerous big band writers. He honed his big band writing and playing skills in the bands of Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis. He has also written works for the National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra of the Netherlands. WDR Big band in Cologne, HR Big Band in Frankfurt and was commissioned to write a piece for concert band and tenor sax (Go) by a consortium of 50 universities.
As an instrumentalist Bob has worked with Art Blakey, Jaco Pastorius, Sam Jones, Randy Brecker, Gil Evans, the Yellowjackets, GRP All Star Big Band, Mike Manieri, The New York Philharmonic, to name a few. He has done session work for James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Queen, Donald Fagan, Milton Nascimento, and countless others.
Bob has recorded some 30 solo projects and was awarded with 4 grammy nominations and a Grammy award for best large jazz ensemble recording in 2001 for Homage to Count Basie on the DMP label.
Bob currently resides in Los Angeles in the former house of composer Arnold Schoenberg (his first LA residence, 1934-1936), teaches at USC, travels 4 months out of the year, and, when at home, writes and practices constantly. He is generally considered one of the tenor saxophonists who came out the school of New York players in the 70’s, which includes Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, David Liebman and Steve Grossman.