Primary Instrument: Piano
Known by some as the Boss of the Boogie pianoman/vocalist Rob Rio plays the boogie-woogie and jump blues of the 40's and 50's with a virtuosity and élan that has excited audiences around the world for more than 30 years. Rio has appeared with many of the original blues greats, such as Muddy Waters, Willy Dixon, Charles Brown, Joe Cocker, Paul Butterfield and many more, and has recorded with Mick Jagger, Canned Heat, Billy Boy Arnold, William Clarke, Coco Montoya, Finas Tasby, Walter Trout, Phillip Walker, Jody Williams, among others, and continues to do session work.
Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Rio now resides in Los Angeles and currently performs at festivals, events and clubs at home and on the road and has been a favorite attraction throughout the Southland for the last 25 years, either as a solo performer or with his 5-piece band, The Revolvers. In 2010, Rio will tour Norway for the first time and return to the famed Arches Piano Stage of the Cincinnati Blues Festival, the premier showcase of boogie-woogie & blues pianists in the U.S. He also plans several new recording projects.
In 2009, Rio starred at several Southland festivals including the mother of all classic jazz fests, The Orange County Classic Jazz Festival and he headlined at the Brussels Piano Summit in Belgium. He recorded a cover of Otis Spann's Half Ain't Never Been Told w/ Bobby Jones singing for the Delta Groove label to be included on the Mannish Boys latest CD, slated for release in early 2010. And for Christmas 2009, Rio released Winter Boogieland, a collection of his boogie interpretations of 10 Xmas favorites.
In 2008, Rio released the Thank You, Joe Turner! CD and in March headlined the International Boogie Woogie Festival in Amsterdam, Holland, appearing with New Orleans great Henry Butler. In July, he also headlined at the 4th Polish Boogie Festival at Cztuchow, Poland. In August he performed at the Arches Piano Stage of the Cincinnati Blues Festival with a host of other boogie woogie greats, where he was proudly inducted into the Boogie Woogie Hall Of Fame by the Cincinnati Blues Society. He starred at the San Clemente Classic Jazz Fest and rocked the full house in Ventura with The Revolvers as part of the Concerts Under The Stars series. In November he returned to Belgium and France for a tour with the Belgian great, Renaud Patigny.
In 2005 Rio toured France and Germany to perform solo and with the top European practitioners of this uniquely American art form. He reprised his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the 50's revue at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. He joined boogie-woogie greats Bob Seeley and Carl Sonny Leyland at the Ojai Blues Fest for a re-enactment of the boogie-woogie dream trio of Ammons, Johnson and Lewis. He brought his band to the Big Bear Lake Classic Jazz Festival for the 6th year for solo and band performances. He returned to Europe in October to tour Germany w/ the great boogie-meister Axel Zwingenberger.
In 2006 Rio headlined the 7th Austrian Blues Masters Festival in Liebnitz, Austria. He recorded on former John Lee Hooker & John Mayall guitarist Walter Trout's record Full Circle. In July he released the live DVD “Boogie @ Big Bear.” Rio starred once again at the Cincinnati Blues Festival's famous Arches Piano Stage which featured Muddy Water's pianist Pinetop Perkins and jazz great Ray Bryant. In November he appeared once again w/ Axel Zwingenberger in Barcelona, Spain. In December Rio recorded on Phillip Walker's latest release, Going Back Home on Delta Groove Records, released 2/07. Also in 2007, Rio headlined at the Feinkost Royal in Weldon, Austria, and he has recorded with Jody Williams, Johnny Dyer and other top blues artists for the Mannish Boys Big Plans CD, released 4/07.
Rio and lists several commercial credits along with 13 CDs and DVDs under his own name. His latest CD, Thank You, Joe Turner! (Boss 2008) features 10 songs in tribute to the great Big Joe Turner. Accompanied by the premier three-man horn section of Bill Flores, tenor, alto sax; Jeff Turmes, baritone, tenor sax; and Corey Gemme, on trumpet, it's a swinging testament to this great artist and the roots of rock and roll!