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Robert Jacobs

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Robert Jacobs

Robert Jacobs, born in Brooklyn, NY, began accordion lessons at the age of 9, and later he studied piano in high school.   Robert inaugurated his professional music career at the early age of 14, when he and fellow musicians formed a band to play for dances and private parties in New Jersey and in the Catskill Mountain resorts.  During this time Robert played familiar pre-Beatles rock n’ roll tunes like Love Potion Number 9 and Wipeout to swing tunes such as Caravan and the theme from Peter Gunn.  After hearing the Dave Brubeck Quartet in concert in 1963, jazz became Robert’s musical obsession. In 1964, Robert and his band had the honor of playing at the World’s Fair in New York City at the New Jersey Pavilion.  Robert continued to pursue his passion and studied with jazz accordionist Pat Cantarella and jazz pianists/educators Harold Danko and Marc Copland. Later on Robert presided over many a musical caucus at the White house, including various Presidential Inaugural parties while living in Washington, D.C.   His first inaugural was that of Nixon in 1968. In 1972, Robert played for both “parties” at the National Democratic Club.   A double header followed in 1977, when Robert played both before and after the inaugural gala at the Kennedy Center for Jimmy Carter’s inaugural.  For Reagan, Robert didn’t play any official functions but led a 10 piece ensemble for private pre-inaugural party at the Corcoran Art Gallery. These are only a few of his presidential musical encounters – shall we write him in? Of Robert’s many major influences, he notes Art Van Damme on accordion along with pianists Bill Evans, Nat King Cole, Wynton Kelly, Errol Garner, John Lewis, Jimmy Rowles, Dave Brubeck to name a few. In addition to playing with Gypsy Roots today, Robert plays piano engagements, teaches music, and has his own law practice.

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