Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
Bob DeSena was born in Northern California the Spring of 1958; born not only to his parents, but born - literally and figuratively - into the world of Latin Jazz. At a young age he learned to play the drums and guitar, and as he grew up in age and the society of music in the 1970s, his already impressive talent was influenced by such groups as Chicago, Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, Santana, Malo and artists such as Herb Alpert, Freddie Hubbard and Maynard Ferguson. The combined talents of these bands and artists increased DeSena's interest not only in music but, especially, in wanting to produce his own music as well. That interest sparked a new passion in him: the trumpet. He learned the instrument and played through high school in big bands and jazz bands alike.
After high school, his talent and passion took him to various dance clubs and highly sought after social engagements where he played with local Top-40 bands. Shortly after he was married, DeSena founded a seven-piece Latin rock band and began recording demos while being sought after to perform in various local night clubs throughout the San Francisco Bay area. It was at a local concert that DeSena was introduced to someone who would become one of the, if not, THE major influence in his personal music career, the legendary vibraphonist Roy Ayers. And like he was back in his childhood room listening to old favorite records, DeSena listened in awe and watched in amazement at Ayers' musical genius and flare for which he played. DeSena found a mentor in Ayers who helped him work on his new passion, the vibraphone and the music it would create.
By the early eighties, Bob was further influenced by the music of Tito Puente, Cal Tjader and Los Angeles-based artist Poncho Sanchez. In 1984, he moved his family to the City of Angels for what would be the prosperous beginning of a career in the entertainment industry. By this time, DeSena was passionately infatuated with the sound of the vibes and its contribution to Latin music. He purchased a set of his own and studied with Tony Kol, a former percussionist for the famous Tonight Show Band. By 1991, DeSena was asked to play as a substitute for the Ventura-based Latin band Nuestro, and was asked by the band's directors, on the basis of his talent and stage presence, to return. To Nuestro's thanks and DeSena's pleasure, they have performed together for ten years, at countless nightclubs, harbor concerts, festivals and the honored Chicano Music Awards. Bob can be heard on Nuestro's first CD release, LA COLECCION and their second CD IN THE PARK.
In 1996, Bob performed a series of concerts with other Latin Jazz groups throughout the greater Los Angeles area and, after one, was approached by Mr. Bill Lazerus, the President of Discos Dos Coronas, a Los Angeles based label that specializes in the recording and distribution of Latin music.
This time, to DeSena's pleasant surprise, Lazerus offered him the opportunity to record his own CD as a solo artist. After carefully considering this potential project for over a year, DeSena graciously and ecstatically agreed to do so. He felt the time was finally right and with the assistance of Composer/Producer and pianist Bob Luna (along with a wide variety of multi-talented musicians), he developed twelve original tunes for the 1999 release of his first solo project All That Latin Jazz. Containing a wide variety of genre from Salsa and Mambo to Bolero and Son Montuno, the CD is not only a compilation of significant style, but more importantly, a compilation of years of intellect and passion that began with a young boy who heard waves of notes coming out of a speaker and knew that he wanted to do that as well!
Bob's second CD Going Latin on Jazz Street is a collaborated effort with Producer/Pianist Bob Sink, will be soon be available for purchase at all major record outlets, various Internet sites and is currently available exclusively on this site, as well as his not-to-be-missed performances.