Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Garcia, Rob (Robert Joseph)

Garcia, Rob (Robert Joseph), drumset, composition; b. The Bronx, NY, 3 February 1969. He mainly grew up in Pelham, NY. His father, Joseph Garcia (born June 19, 1938, Manhattan, NY) was a part time upright bass player. His mother, Diana Pirrone, was born October 18, 1941, Manhattan, NY. His sister, Elisa Garcia, was born August 23, 1965, the Bronx. He is married to Lora Mollie Dibner-Garcia, born Feb.24, 1970.

He began playing drums and studying with Bob Merigliano in Jan. 1985. He continued until about 1991. Studied with Charlie Persip at JazzMobile 1992-93, and Steve Davis 1993-95. He graduated from NYU in 1991 with a BA in Psychology (at NYU he also took some music classes and played in the ensembles). In the fall of 2002, he started a Masters in Studio Composition at SUNY Purchase.

Rob grew up in Pelham, New York, hearing jazz and popular music from the late 20's and early 30's. His father, an architect who also loved to play the bass, had a collection of 78's (old records) from that period, full of such music greats as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Bix Beiderbecke. In his early teens Rob loved classic rock and it was The Who's Keith Moon that inspired him to begin playing the drums.

At NYU, Rob studied psychology, but continued to grow musically as well. In his early 20's he became interested in spirituality, began practicing yoga and attended Joseph Jarman's dojo in Brooklyn, for Zen meditation. Pursuing his interest in healing more deeply at the IM School of Healing Arts and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Rob developed a small practice as a holistic healer. The awareness which grew through the healing arts and spirituality has become part of his musical outlook. Rob explains, "I strive to integrate all the aspects of my being into everything I do."

For most of the past decade, drummer Rob Garcia has brought his superb skills and subtly dynamic rhythmic sense to an eclectic assortment of musical ensembles. Spanning the full spectrum of jazz, from Woody Allen's New Orleans band to the avant-garde explorations of such innovative artists as reedman Joseph Jarman and pianist Myra Melford, Rob has also brought his talents to groups like Sam Newsome and Global Unity, The Lynne Arriale Trio, The John Benitez Trio, The Flying Neutrinos, The Chris Cheek Quartet, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Crew, The Miri Ben-Ari Quartet, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and Mr. Kite, a quartet for which he functions as leader and primary arranger of progressive interpretations of Beatles tunes. Rob has also performed with top musicians such as: Jerome Richardson, Bob Berg, Dave Kikoski, Mike Formanek, Howard Johnson, Sonny Fortune, Bruce Barth, Santi Debriano, Wycliff Gordon, Warren Vache, Ted Nash, and Chris Potter, among others.

In addition to touring nationally and abroad, Rob has recorded with many artists, including Jarman and Allen. He has performed at clubs such as The Blue Note, Iridium, Knitting Factory, Visiones, and Birdland. Some of the festivals he has participated in are the JVC jazz festival, the New York jazz festival, and the Vision festival.

Rob describes his creative aim and music's healing power, "music can go beyond the intellect and touch people on a really deep level, evoking a certain feeling of freedom."

Place of Resonance
As sideperson:
The Splendid Jazz Band: Wherever There's Love (1995, 1996); Stephan Crump: Poems and Other Things (1997); Woody Allen: Wild Man Blues (1998); Joseph Jarman: Lifetime Visions for the Magnificent Human (1998, 1999); Independence Hall Jazz band: Hot Sweet & Blue (1999), Chicago Rhythm (2000, 2001); Bennett Pastor & Gregory Ryan: Grupo Yanqui (2000); Artie Tobia: The Parade (2000)

Radio and TV broadcasts:
BET , Live from the Knitting Factory with Joseph Jarman

TV show 'Blues Clues'
probably around 20 TV commercials
co-wrote a jingle for BMW.

Unissued recordings:
"Mr Kite" demo recordings (1998, 2000, 2001)

Contact information:

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