Born: May 20, 1932 | Died: May 15, 2008 Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
For close to 50 years now the release of a new Bob Florence recording has been a major cause for celebration in the jazz world and with each album, going all the way back to 1958's Name Band 59, it seems that he has reached an absolute pinnacle in the possibilities of contemporary big band writing. But he has continued to surprise us, year after year, by venturing into unexplored territory and consistently setting new standards in the art of big band jazz.
Bob Florence has garnered national and international acclaim as a jazz composer, arranger, bandleader, keyboardist, accompanist, and educator. Florence began his lifelong study of music before he was even four years old. At age 19, he abandoned his classical studies in order to devote his time to playing shows, accompanying singers, and jamming with jazz groups.
In addition to his many other talents, Florence is a highly respected jazz educator. He often serves as clinician, adjudicator and guest instructor in college settings. He is a warmly engaging man who approaches the act of making music with great humanity and humor.
Florence is a Grammy Award winner and has received an incredible 15 Grammy Nominations and two Emmy Awards. His recent commissions include, Eternal Licks & Grooves commissioned by ASCAP and IAJE honoring Count Basie, premiered in January 2005 at the IAJE convention in Long Beach California and Appearing In Cleveland commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Institute honoring Stan Kenton, premiered in March 2004 at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, California, as well as many others.