Baldwin, Jr. was born in Mount Vernon, NY, the
second of four children to Robert G. Baldwin and Addie-Viola
Dad learns of the
'perfect-pitch' ear of the Jr. Baldwin. Sits his son in the room, plays
a note and Bob Jr. calls it out while reading Charlie Brown paperbacks,
much to the shock of his friends.
2 years later,
he began to take Classical Music lessons formally, while being taught
Jazz by his father at home. He also went to gigs with his dad and
watched him 'do his thing' on the piano!
The Baldwins move to Peekskill (Cortlandt Manor), NY. Learns
his first jazz tune, "Satin Doll", by the great Duke Ellington.
Jr. is also amazed by the keyboard wizardry of the
incredible Oscar Peterson, one of his father's favorites. Is
fascinated by his dad to play Peterson at 1/2 speed and study his piano
solos Jr. takes notes.
Jr. BB have the honor to visit Art Davis (Bassist for John
Coltrane), who were good friends and worked often around Westchester
afternoon, Jr. meets Jazz Drummer legend Max Roach, and his
dad, Roach and Davis jam together in the Davis living room....so
| OCTOBER -
Robert G. Baldwin, Sr. suffers tragedy from an operation and is unable
to play music from that day forth.
affect on the Jr. Baldwin was devastating and contemplates quitting
music. During that down time, his dad encouraged him to, "Don't give
first day job, a supermarket job at age 15 due to dad's illness, Robert
was called "Bob". With the exception of mom, the name stuck!!
Bob had a high school friend, Mark
Johnson, who attended Geneva College, and after visiting the school in
Beaver Falls, Pa., Bob applied for school and began his studies in
Accounting Later that year, he fell in love with broadcasting and
had a Sunday night show at WGEV, where he played George Duke, Quincy
Jones, Patti Austin and George Benson.
BB joined a Gospel music group at Geneva
to get him back into practicing and playing music again. The
choir had the opportunity to open up for the legendary Hawkins Family.
"Watching Tramaine Hawkins sing "Change" blew me completely
away. That concert moved me to stay with music because I watched how
music moved people's spiritual emotions". THE SPARK WAS BACK!
On an Accounting note, BB
kicked Accounting to the curb and switched his major to Business
Administration. "Cost Accounting kicked my butt!"
Baldwin was fired by the
local steak restaurant for stealing fries. "I was hungry and they had
the best potatoes in town, however, the boss wasn't so
forgiving". That was the turning point for his studies in Beaver
quickly out of College money, BB packed his bags and headed back to NY
and started an internship with WBLS/WLIB in NY. He had the honor to
watch the great Frankie Crocker briefly in his hey-day, as well as
other great NY radio legends, Kenny Webb, Sergio Dean and
Baldwin lands a job at
WINS News pulling news copy and performing copywriting duties,
but within a week of his hiring, the entire News Staff and Broadcasters
go out on strike! Baldwin's 1010-WINS run gets cut short as he learns
at the age of 20 about crossing the "picket line"....bad move.
Bob re-thinks the radio
career and starts focusing on the music between going to school
his part-time job at the insurance company and puts part-time school on
hold to pursue his dream of doing gigs full-time.
mistakes were made on that gig, beginning with being owed gig money
from the popular jazz artist, whom we'll remain nameless. Airfare
reimbursement and food per-diem and Fender Rhodes freight.
calls a girlfriend up to get a $200.00 Western Union in order to
purchase a return flight home along with his 100 Pound Fender Rhodes.
weeks, Baldwin re-enrolled in College. The fantasy had ended....back to
the drawing board. On that trip, however, he meets saxophonist Marion
Meadows. Both artists were unsigned at the time.
BB's first recorded sideman sessions with
Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson and Vaneese Thomas
in New York City as a Keyboardist and Programmer on the Hush Recording
Label (Charles Huggins).
|BB formed The Bob
Baldwin/Al Orlo Project, a local group in New Rochelle, NY. The
goal was to showcase original material using a hot NY-Based rhythm
section, which at times included Dave Weckl (Chick Corea), Fred Vigdor
(AWB), Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra), and Bryan Doherty (The Silos).
The ensemble earned
an opening spot for Tom Browne at the the legendary Bottom Line in New
York City, leading to the keyboardist's first production which
trumpeter Browne ("Funkin' for Jamaica").
The club, owned by Mr. Vinny Pastore, was
closed down as Vinny goes on to pursue acting??? He later lands
his debut acting gig with "The Sopranos".
| Baldwin works with James "Crab" Robinson on the Tabu
label. Crab replaced Luther Vandross in the group "Change" before going
During a Crab session, BB meets Najee, who plays a solo
on Crab's record, written by Baldwin.
Baldwin meets Producer Danny Weiss and Dave Wilkes of Delta Music, and
debuts his Production and Arranging talents on Tom Browne's No
Longer I album.
BB begins to crank out sessions in the evening after working
during the day. "Many a night was slept on the studio couch
before going back to work."
This led to his Production deal with
Malaco Records. I've Got a Long Way To Go, featured
Saxophonists Nelson Rangell and Fred Vigdor.
Meadows also begins recording that year and both do some dates together
in NY and Ct.
Picture was taken from Dad from the 1960's.
While sitting on the
day job one afternoon, Baldwin receives a call from the staff of the Sony
Innovators Award, and courtesy of Roberta Flack, he emerges
victorious amongst 300+ applicants. This award receives great media
attention, and eventually, it led to the signing at Atlantic Jazz
Records under then-President Sylvia Rhone, with Weiss co-producing the
Labelmates included Gerald Albright, Paul Jackson, Jr.,
Bobby Lyle and Hiram Bullock.
| Baldwin released his debut solo CD,
Rejoice on Atlantic Jazz Records, which featured Lenny White, Tom
Browne, Sharon Bryant (Of Atlantic Starr) and others.
Baldwin meets Baritonist Will Downing at a benefit for
Drummer Yogi Horton in NYC.
Yogi was Luther
"She" on Downing’s A Dream Fulfilled CD. (Top 10 Billboard Jazz
| Bob's mom, Viola Baldwin completes
college at the age of 60, after 10 years of evening college at Mercy
Literally one day following the
celebration of Mom's college degree on 2/19/91, tragedy struck the Baldwin's as
Bob's only brother, William Baldwin was killed in a car accident going
back to college. He was 19 years old.
Baldwin gets a phone
call from one of his childhood idols, the great saxophonist Grover
Washington, Jr.. They both work together on his first Self-Produced CD,
Reflections of Love (#5 Billboard Contemporary Jazz), which also
featured Will Downing, Marion Meadows, and Atlantic Starr Vocalist
The title and the album is dedicated to his
brother, William Arthur Baldwin.
Later in the year, he
teamed up with Washington, producing a song on his album, Next Exit,
which featured Levi Stubbs and The Four Tops. "Reflections Of Love"
peaked at #7 while at the same time, Washington’s Next Exit peaked at
#5, and Marion Meadows' Keep It Right There.
sitting at #7, Baldwin teamed up with Meadows, with Downing and
produced "Come Back To Me", which was a big hit for both artists in
1992 and 1993.
The cover was shot by
Rod Taylor. Rod was inspired as a teen-ager by Bob's dad, an wonderful
enjoyed a brief collaborative stint with Pieces of A Dream while
pianist James Lloyd took a short sabbatical.
Upon Lloyd’s return, he
had the chance to team up with him on a couple of shows together, which
was a personal thrill.
He also produced two songs on the In Flight CD on Blue Note
Records (Billboard Jazz Top 20). Baldwin also recorded a CD entitled, State
of Mind, which to date was never released.
Baldwin leaves the
Big Apple (N.Y.) and heads down I95 to Atlanta, Ga.
His playing days are
far from over as he begins a new recording and goes on the road with
Marion Meadows for a period extending 4 years with a few dates in
between with Will Downing.
Meadows, "Body Rhythm" CD, which went Top 20 on the Billboard Jazz and
top 20 Radio Charts.
Baldwin and Meadows
also Co-Headline the Asbury Jazz Festival in front of 20,000+ fans.
That concert featured an impromptu version of “People Make The World Go
Round”, of which it was embraced by the South Jersey audience, and that
song became a staple in the Baldwin repertoire.
began to study the accounting piece of the royalty process and was
He then produced a
record out of personal modest funds, his first independent CD called,
City Sketches I / Welcome To The Games. He pulled in a few favors, such
as Rohn Lawrence and Meadows.
City Sketches was
a musical tribute to Atlanta, Ga. Over 10,000 units were sold on the
Internet and Live Venue Sales. Frequent visits to the Post Office
forced him to buy a Pitney Bowes mail machine.
He also incorporates
City Sketches, Inc., based out of Atlanta, Ga., and also launched his
website www.CitySketches.com, and became one of the first Jazz Artists to
sell CD's online on a secured server. Some of the music to City
Sketches was later used during the 1996 Olympics, also held in Atlanta,
signs a one-shot deal with Shanachie Records, under old producer-mate
produces and releases, Cool Breeze (Top 30/Billboard Contemporary
Jazz), on Shanachie Records. The CD features the song "Summer Breeze,"
(Top 20/Smooth jazz radio charts) with Meadows, and guitarist Larry
Coryell. Shortly after the release, Baldwin does a few gigs with Chuck
Baldwin teams up with
Will Downing on the road and does a series of concerts together, which
include the Essence Music Festival, The Newport Jazz Festival and the
Benson and the 10-city Hedges Music Festival. Group included Albright,
Phil Perry and Vesta Williams.
acquires a modest sum of investment funding, signs a Distribution Deal
with Orpheus Records/EMI and completes his second independent CD,
Bobbaldwin.com, on City Sketches, Inc.
peaked at #13 on Billboard Jazz. The innovator's remake of Tom Browne's
"Funkin' for Jamaica" won rave reviews, while his CD distributes
through the Virgin/EMI network. He also launched his new site,
www.BobBaldwin.com and triples his internet hits count in less than 6
months, cross-marketing the title with his site.
is supported by Vaneese Thomas, Eric Essix, Gerald Albright, Dean James
and along with long-time supporters Browne, Meadows, and Downing.
wrote and played two songs on the All The Man You Need CD, which earned
a nomination for Grammy for best Tradition R&B.
His records from 2000 through currnet were engineered by Dennis
Johnson, who's contribution was invaluable.
| Baldwin makes a trip to South Africa and meets Vusi
Khamalo and they develop a long-distance musical friendship. Vusi also
bails out the Baldwin/Marion Meadows date there by sub-contracting a
South African-based band to do the gigs.
Baldwin signs a
one-year deal with Narada Music and starts recording "Standing Tall."
He begins to develop his Bob Baldwin and Friends Tour Package, which
featured Tom Browne, Marion Meadows, Phil Perry and Chuck Loeb.
9/11/01 - Shortly
after the World Trade Center tragedy, Baldwin penned and released, "God
Bless America", which was played in N.Y.C. This led to the Bob Baldwin
Presents The American Spirit CD in May, 2002 as a tribute to those
victims, killed in the twin towers tragedy.
His musical offering
was shared on several Fox TV stations and made a brief appearance on
BET. Baldwin also released his CD, Standing Tall (Billboard Top 10) in
September, which jumped out of the Billboard box at #10 during its
first week on the radio airplay charts.
featured Chuck Loeb, Ray Vega, Dean James, Kim Waters, Marion Meadows,
Phil Perry and Chieli Minucci. He also worked with percussionist
Cafe Da-Silva from Brazil, where his musical interests in Brazilian
Jazz began to peak. The Way She Looked At Me” was #9 most played CD in
the Smooth Jazz genre in 2003.
teams up with R&B crooner Freddie Jackson and produces Jackson’s
new single, "Natural Thing," in anticipation of a Spring 2004 release.
also signs to A440 Music and travels to Rio De Janeiro and Ipanema,
Brazil to start his upcoming recording and forever gains a better
understanding of Bossa-Nova, Samba, Partido-Alto and Chorinho
styles. During his Brazil recording, "The Way She Looked At Me"
was the 9th most played song in the Contemporary Jazz Format for the
entire year. Baldwin begins featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Doc Powell, Phil
Perry and Chieli Minucci on the Bob Baldwin and Friends Tour Package.
makes his debut on the A440 Music Group Label and releases his 9th CD,
Brazil Chill, where he fuses Brazil with Contemporary Jazz. It
features Cafe, Torcuato Mariano, Azimuth and Leo Gandleman. He also
teams up with Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa, who also makes an appearance on
the new CD. The overflow of music creates 2 CD's, the first to be
released March 2004 with the follow-up sometime in 2005-2006.
In September, 2004, Bob
received the SESAC music award for his CD, “Standing Tall” and in
particular, “The Way She Looked At Me”, which peaked at #3 Billboard
is hired as a Consultant at WJSJ - Jacksonville, Fl. where he increased
their Website hits by 100% and listener-ship by 25% within 12
weeks. As Music Director, BB started to reach out to label
contacts in lieu of new discs and calls Dave Chackler on 215 Records
and establishes a relationship with the label.
It was at WJSJ where he began
to develop the "NewUrbanJazz" sound.
In Spring, 2005, a440 files bankruptcy. On the label trail
again. Baldwin reaches out to Mr. Chackler and signs shortly
after on 215 Music.
summer of ’05, Baldwin produces the Croton Point Music Festival in
Croton NY, where he worked with Phil Perry, Marion Meadows, Stephanie
Mills and Pieces of a Dream. The venue attracted over 7,000 music
that year, Baldwin travels to Bermuda to launch the first ever smooth
Jazz station in Bermuda and does the Morning-Drive host. The
station gains popularity in a short period of time and Baldwin develops
a contemporary jazz music scene at Snorkel Park, a series he helped to
cultivate. During that year, “All In a Day’s Work” is launched,
his 10th CD overall. The "NewUrbanJazz" sound is also
cultivated in Bermuda.
continues to develop his DVD project, which is near
completion...another out-of-pocket experience.
Narada goes out of business and dissolves into Blue Note. Baldwin
dodges another label bullet but only for a few weeks as 215 Records
Through the a440 and 215 label meltdowns, CSI picks up the master
rights to some of his previous recordings and re-releases them on
Nu-Groove Records, also owned by Dave Chackler.
hired at the Music Consultant at WCLK radio in Atlanta, where he is
also assigned the responsibility of festival organizer at the
Centennial Park’s Wednesday WindDown. He develops a lineup which is as
indicative as the city’s great culture. He further develops the
Releases his first disc, "Memoirs of the Hudson" 10 miles from his NY
Home. "The Sanctioned Bootleg" is the audio version of the live
In Feb., 2008, he joins
Radio-One as an on-air host for WJZZ in Atlanta. This was where he was
able to execute “The NewUrbanJazz
Lounge”, which picks up stations, and starts to think "affiliates".
He is looking to expand
NUJ into 2009, and during the process, decides to title his disc
"NewUrbanJazz.com". After years of discussion, Baldwin and Najee
collaborate on "My Cherie Amour". Baldwin also receives an
accidental email from Jocelyn Brown and they re-unite and do their own
renditon on "Somebody Elses' Guy". Brown is located in UK and
they begin discussing dates there for 2009.
2 weeks before the release of
the disc, CD101 flips format and that begins a series of other stations
following suit throughout the East Coast.
Launches NewUrbanJazz Radio in 2008 on
| May 31, 2008
Robert G. Baldwin, Sr., the son of Bob
Baldwin, Sr. passes away at the age of 82. Baldwin was a lifelong
inspiration of the younger Baldwin. "May dad taught me some
incredible things about life, love and commitment to a dream.
December 8, 2008
Bob's Stepfather, Tuskegee Airman
Albert L. Gaines, an incredible serviceman and family man, passes away at the age of 82. Another
incredible blow to our family. He's missed daily and his contributions
to the community and Westchester County are missed.
BB wins second SESAC music award for his songs from
New Release coming this
summer, documenting the path of BB's career, titled, Lookin' Back.,
which marks his 20th year anniversary as an Artist (1988 - 2008).
BB further develops "The NewUrbanJazz Lounge" radio format
and begins to spread the show through HBCU's, Colleges and indie
The journey continues.....
Bob Baldwin and
Marion Meadows venture to Johannesburg for a 2nd time at the Standard
Bank Joy of Jazz Festival. Releases a Tribute to Michael Jackson.
Garners his 3rd SESAC Award as the disc goes Top-10.
Performs tribute concert for the people of Haiti with
"Jazz for Haiti" in Newark's Symphony Hall and "Westchester Musicians
for "Haiti" in White Plains, NY, featuring local Jazz musicians from
Westchester County, NY. Proceeds benefitted the Arthur Schweitzer
Hospital in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
the Thom Bell Tribute disc, which was co-produced by Grammy-Award
winning Preston Glass. "Betcha By Golly Wow" featured Paul Taylor,
Marion Meadows, Paul Brown, Ragan Whiteside and more.
has helped him earn this 3rd SESAC Award
|Album #20 prevails as
"Twenty" logs 2 top-10 Radio hits, "Chameleon 3000" and "SeaBreeze".
"Twenty also peaked at #3 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts.
recording studio between performances in 2014, working on his 21st
disc, as he works studio violin tracks. The tribute is a childhood idol
tribute (living legend) project.|
The result is the Stevie Wonder tribute, "MelloWonder / Songs in the
Key of Steve", once again, charting on the Billboard top 20. Features
childhood faves live "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing", "Superwoman", and
"Love's Light in Flight". Record drops in June, 2015.