Robbi Hall Kumalo

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Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Born: March 10, 1874    

Robbi Hall Kumalo is an artist with an incredible voice with tons of charisma and charm to win over any audience. Robbi started in the music business singing with a host of legendary artists including Aretha Franklin, Eileen Ivers, Arif Mardin, Jewel, Diana Ross, Jimmy Owens, Ashford & Simpson, Edie Brickell, Chieli Minucci, Gino Sitson, Bakithi Kumalo, John Hiatt, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart, Mary J. Blige, and Harry Belafonte among many others. Bringing to the stage a level of excitement, Robbi gives to her audiences freely and unselfishly. Her band members are versatile and extraordinary players, who have performed with many music legends themselves. Robbi's personable demeanor is the essence of her show; first going deep into her own zone then pouring it all out in song. Robbi's larger than life stage presence and enticingly beautiful voice have given her the opportunity to perform in many settings, always with great success....
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Robbi K has recorded with many artists, and has released three award winning children's CDs: Set It Free, Keep the Beat! (Honored with a Parents’ Choice Award), and most recently, Music Makes Me Happy, recipient of a 2007 Parents’ Choice Silver Award and an iParenting Award of Excellence.
MUSIC MAKES ME HAPPY's upbeat tempo seems to make Robbi K and Friends' voices happy, too. And in case there's any confusion over her mood, listen to track 9, titled: “Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy.” This is Robbi's third CD, featuring guests like Riverdance fiddler Eileen Ivers and Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na. The CD's lyrics are simple enough for toddlers to sing along to — with lines like “Sometimes, my friends make me mad!” — but are modern enough to draw them in (”it's my bling, bling”). The vocals aren't polished (especially on “I Love My Teacher”), but that's part of their charm; they range from kids singing to Robbi K's strong, clear voice. The album also brings in many musical styles, from island vibes on “Summer's Here” to torch song touches on “Got Me Laughing Blues,” which if you didn't listen to the lyrics about taking a bath in the sink, could easily be performed in an adult jazz club. “The Peace Song” — which starts with a spoken word and morphs into a beautiful vocal and string arrangement — ends the album on a strong note. Overall, this album is an optimistic one. Robbi says in one of her songs, “a positive attitude, baby, will do you a world of good,” and after these 11 tracks, it will be a world listeners will want to live in.

—Common Sense Media Review

“African-American jazz artist Robbi K's third album for children features one traditional and ten original upbeat songs. This outstanding album features rap, calypso, rock, jazz, blues, classical, and Cajun musical styles.

Her sultry alto voice is joined by virtuoso performances by guest artists Eileen Ivers (fiddle), Chieli Minucci (jazz guitar), Jimmy Owens (jazz trumpet), Bakithi Kumalo (bass), Hayes Greenfield (saxophone), Brady Rymer, Guy Davis, and Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na. The songs include “Feel da Beat,” “Summer's Here,” “Eating Some Pizza,” “Legend of John Henry,” “Music Is My Friend,” “Favourite Things” (with a fantastic jazz arrangement), “Got Me Laughing Blues,” and others. A must purchase for all libraries.”

—Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TX

“From a Singer, Songs That Rock, and Are Kid Friendly Too … an uplifting, genre-spanning record.”

—New York Times

“Robbi K, who’s sung backup for Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte and many others, has cranked out a groov-alicious offering for all with her third children’s CD. It’s filled with guest appearances from Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman of Sha Na Na to her husband, Paul Simon’s bassist Bakithi Kumalo, and kids will enjoy the lyrics. But anyone can just sit back and feel the rhythm coursing through his or her body.”

—New York Post

“Robbi K, an African-American singer and musician who performs a live show inspired by Paul Simon's “Graceland” album, brings her accomplished voice to songs that span jazz, pop, blues, and world music styles. Her husband, South African bassist Bakithi Kumalo, who has long played with Simon, and children's singer Brady Rymer, are among the guests on this CD.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A terrific singer with personality to spare…but make no mistake: It's hard to imagine anyone resisting Robbi K's charm, dedication and all-embracing repertoire.”

—The Washington Post

Robbi K’s CD, Keep the Beat!, is a Parents’ Choice Award-winner! Robbi has contributed her vocal, songwriting, arranging, and production talents to THREE Parents’ Choice Award-winning albums. With Music Makes Me Happy, she crafts a joyful, exuberant music celebration of both life and childhood. Brava Robbi K!

—Lahri Bond, Parents' Choice

Primary Instrument:

Bethlehem, PA

Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students

Please visit my website for complete info on my teaching work.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
Please visit my website for complete info on my teaching work. WWW.RobbiKumalo.COM

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