Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Rob is not only one of the most in-demand trumpeters in the southeastern US, he is also an award-winning composer/arranger, an educator, and over- all, one of the most diverse musicians in the region.
Since moving to Alabama in 2000 Rob has performed regularly with a multitude of professional ensembles. From symphony orchestras and brass quintets to big bands and a multitude of small-group jazz ensembles, Broadway musicals, a surf-rock band, rock, r&b, soul, and funk groups, as well as continuing to spearhead his own ensembles of differing sizes and instrumentation to perform his own compositions. The list of performers he has, and continues to work and record with is a virtual mosaic of the music scene of the southeastern United States:
The Tuscaloosa Symphony and Brass Quintet, The Huntsville Symphony, The Arkansas Symphony, the Arkansas State University Faculty Brass Quintet, the University of Alabama Faculty Brass Quintet, The New South Jazz Orchestra, Downright, The Tuscaloosa Horns, The Chad Fisher Group, The Birmingham 7, The Crimson Quartet, The UA Faculty Jazz Quintet, Musical Fantasy, The Night Flight Big Band, Red Mountain Theatre, Bonus Round, to name a few.
In addition, Rob has performed with international artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patti Austin, Byron Stripling, Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Jon Faddis, Diane Schuure, John Mosca, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The O’Jays, Frankie Valli, and many others.
Highly regarded as a composer and arranger, in 2007 Rob was a recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship Grant for his jazz composition “12 for 3”.
Thoroughly committed to passing on the gifts that he has been given, Rob is a gifted educator whose pedagogical philosophy can be summed up as “A responsibility not only to train musicians, but to help students develop into better human beings through explorations in music.”
Rob holds a Master of Music (Suma Cum Laude) from the University of Alabama. He is currently a faculty member at UA teaching in the Jazz Department.
Equally as important to his multi-faceted career, driven by the need to incorporate a multitude of disparate influences, Rob has founded many different ensembles, with which he also performs. They include:
Solid Sender: An improvisational quintet making sounds inspired by late 60s/early 70s Miles and the NYC super-group Sex Mob, with directions in music by Rob Alley. And grooves. Yes, grooves. Lots of them. Deep ones. Alley plays trumpet with loops/effects and cue cards, two Fender Rhodes pianos, an electric bass, and drum set.
Brass X: performs a wide range of original music, contemporary arrangements of current jazz composers, and ethnic music. Texturally, Brass X is an exploration of the addition of non-brass instruments to traditional brass groupings.
Mingusphere: founded in 2004 in Birmingham, Alabama as a tribute to the jazz innovators Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk, Mingusphere is a trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums quartet that still performs regularly.
The Rob Alley Sound Conspiracy: conceived of mainly as a means to perform his original compositions as well as works by the vast compositional talent that is present in the Southeastern US. The instrumentation is as varied as the compositions.
He is a founding member of the much-heralded improvisation collective Mean Smoker with keyboardist Matthew Devine and New York City based drummer Jay Frederick.
The Sound Conspiracy and Mean Smoker allow Rob the opportunity to explore his passions for both electricity and the trumpet through the use of pedals and laptop technology.
The Rob Alley Trio and The Rob Alley/Pedro Mayor Duo afford Rob the opportunity to maintain and hone his fluency within the traditional jazz canon.