By Patte Purcell
There are many different types of jazz: smooth jazz, straight ahead jazz, the standards, and one of my favorites, Latin jazz. I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob DeSena who happens to be the 24th Annual La Jazz Awards Artist of the Year. He just received the Lifetime achievement Award for 2015, which he feels is the pinnacle of achievement.
He’s also won Best Jazz Album 2014 and the Producer’s Choice Award for Best Jazz album. In 2015, he was nominated for International Artist of the year!
DeSena hails from Las Vegas (my old stomping grounds) and has been a musician for 40 years. He plays vibes, flugelhorn, percussion and he sings. As a child he learned the value of music from his mother and started playing the guitar and drums. Nothing really hit him until he heard Herb Alpert and that is when he took up the trumpet.
In high school he was in the jazz band and performed with a Top 40 band. When he started listening to Cal Jader and Tito Puente in the early 80’s he found his instrument, vibes and timbales. He also cites Roy Ayers vibraphonist as a major influence.
DeSena studied Latin vibes for a year with Tony Kool a percussionist from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. After one year he told Bob ‘take that and make it yours’ and so he did.
He was approached by a label about making a recording and he recorded his first CD All That (Latin) Jazz. And he produced his second Going Latin on Jazz Street. It got excellent airplay. He recorded his third CD under his own label ‘After Midnight Music’ and titled it After Midnight. This one had originals and won Best Jazz Album of 2014 and the Producers Choice Award.
In 2012, he won the Vibraphonist of the Year from the LA Jazz Society. He’s been a winner right down the line.
When I asked him his plans for the future he informed me that he is opening up ‘Bobby D’s Jazz and Cigar bar’ in Las Vegas, 7 miles off the strip in Gramercy, and is looking forward to a spring opening. He said that will be his legacy and is excited to offer the finest jazz club in Las Vegas.
DeSena loves to play and is one of our headliners at the Celebrity Jazz Jam, Latin Night at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, along with 14 other artists who will be performing their hits. He will be performing and playing vibes, trumpet, flugelhorn and some vocals.
If you would like to know more about Bob or would like to book him he can be reached at www.bobdesena.com
Patte Purcell – Muze Muzic