Photo of Robin Eubanks
  • Associate Professor of Jazz Trombone and Jazz Composition
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Education

  • BM, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, 1978
  • Former faculty, Manhattan School of Music
  • Former faculty, Banff Centre, 1984-94

Biography

Whether performing with his groups, EB3 and Mental Images, the San Francisco Jazz Collective, or the critically acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet, Robin Eubanks is an artist whose impact on audiences has proven powerful and lasting.

Born to a very musical family, he began studying music at the age of eight and graduated cum laude from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied theory, harmony, composition and arranging in addition to the trombone.

Following his graduation, the young trombonist moved to New York City, where he began a career yielding an amazing array of collaborations with such notable artists as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, and Talking Heads. He has won Grammys for his performances on Michael Brecker’s Wide Angles and Dave Holland’s What Goes Around and Overtime.

As a bandleader, Eubanks has recorded seven albums of his own music. In 2002, he won a composition grant from Chamber Music America, followed by an ASCAP Composer’s grant in 2003. Musically fluent and stylistically multilingual, Eubanks speaks a variety of musical “languages,” and his compositional interests are equally diverse.

“My compositions can change fluidly from Swing to Funk to Latin to 11/8 or 7/4,” he says, “without sounding forced or awkward. This allows me to draw upon all of my experiences. I have the freedom to create forms that unite diverse influences into new structures that are organic.”

Eubanks’ compositions and arrangements can be heard on recordings by the Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band, as well as the Mingus Big Band, and in performances by college and university ensembles throughout the United States. Other notable commissions include: Cause and Effect, which had its world premier with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in 2003; string and horn arrangements for Freddie Cole’s This Is Always; Cross Currents for the late great JJ Johnson’s Grammy nominated recording, The Brass Orchestra; and an arrangement of Genesis for McCoy Tyner’s Big Band.

Prizes and Awards

  • Number one trombonist, DownBeat Reader’s Poll 2009 and 2010
  • Number one trombonist, DownBeat International Critics’ Poll 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • National Clinician, Yamaha Musical Instruments
  • Broadway performances - Dream Girls, Tap Dance Kid, Black and Blue, Grease orchestras
  • Master classes at campuses all over the Unites States
  • Original member, Dave Holland Quintet
  • Former music director, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Recordings

  • Dave Holland
  • McCoy Tyner
  • Art Blakey
  • Elvin Jones
  • Kevin Eubanks
  • Barbara Streisand
  • Talking Heads
  • Rolling Stones