Musical Artist, Record Label, Publisher, Educator, Arranger, Composer, Recording Engineer
Tell us a little about your background...
Mr. Robert Banks was born in Buckingham County Virginia where, at the age of five, he started playing the guitar with his Uncle David Banks. After moving to Brooklyn New York, Robert attended the Bronx Community College where he studied Music. In 1993-1997 Robert studied music at the Long Island University in Brooklyn New York.
As an accomplished guitarist, Robert’s style is distinct in the areas of Jazz, Classical, Pop, R&B (Rhythm and Blues) and Fusion Funk. Taking on the roles as Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Author,Theorists and Website Designer. Robert has provided students with instructions of various instruments while coaching voice. With all of Robert’s innovative and inventive genius, he has composed over fifty musical arrangements for sixty-piece orchestration, as well as publishing Several Books on Jazz Improvisation, Scales, Chords, And Development under his own company Total Package Publishing Ltd. To mention a few: The Art of Expressions Is In The Progressions Volumes 1,2, & 3, Chord Melodies For The Innovative Guitarist Volumes 1,2,3 & 4, The Virtuoso Pianist Volume 1, Anthology of Scales Volumes 1-6, Analogy of Chords Volumes 1-6, The Bi-Tonal Chord Concept Volumes 1-6, Blues For You, And The Pyramid Concept In addition, Robert has written an Autobiography "entitled The Robert Banks Story" Against All Odds.
Robert shared his love for music by helping to develop many guitarists at the Henry Street Settlement Music School, located in the lower Eastside of Manhattan, New York. Robert also taught music at the beacon School Program (Junior High School Eight) , located in Jamaica New York. He has studied with George Benson, Albert Blain, Larry Luck, Bill Barron (Muse Museum) Brooklyn N.Y., Jimmy Cannidy, Billy Jones and Professor Ted Dumbar at Rutger’s University. Robert has performed with such greats as Bobbie Humphrey, Gattertail Jackson, Stanley Turrentine, Delores Carr and the Sherells. Robert has had the great fortune to perform with the Charlie Rouse Quartet and the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Foster, Ray Abrams, Creative Funk, Reconstruction, The Banks Brothers, The Robert Banks Sextet Plus 1, Rueben Wilson Organ Trio, Bobby Forrest Organ Trio, The Soul Experience, Tony And The Soul Masters, Bill Jacob Quartet, Jr. Ward And The Conservatives, Barlett Contemporary, Trouble, Otis Turner And The Kingpins, Harry Harris And The Hustlers, Tom Brown, Pearl Box Review, Ebony Brass, Walter Kelly Quartet, Nat Crump, Genesis, Manor Ramsey, Ben Monroe Group, Denzil Miller Quartet, Screaming Jay Hawkin, Bernie Upson Quartet, Doug Harris Quartet, Walter Perkin Trio, Juan Spencer Quartet, Bross Townsend Group, Dwright Gassaway Quintet, The Weldon Irvine Quartet, and Bobby & The All Stars.
His television appearances include, positively Black, Like It Is and the CBS Cable show, channel 13 Sesame Street. Robert has entertained audiences at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall, The Village Gate New York, Marx four In New York, performed several outdoor concerts (802 Local Musicians Union), Felt Forum, Manhattan Center, Mikell’s, Munk’s After Dark, Circle in the Square New York, Rko Theaters In New York, Queens Bay Festival Flushing Meadow Park New York, Savoy Manor New York, Breezin Lounge New York, Gerald's Queens NY. Jazz Mobile Outdoor Concert in Queens New York, Ball of Confusion Columbus Ohio, Night Cap AKA Brothers Five, Red Roosters, Highway Inn, Tempo Soul City, Carmichaels, St. Albans Plaza, Adubon Bridgewood, Datums, Club Ruby, Breukelen, Judy's International, Masonic Temple, Leviticus, Flagstone Inn, Grand Finale, Peg Leg Bates Resort, Lynbrook Greis' Park, Anna Bell, Red Carpet, Fantasy East, Music Box Theatre, Small Paradise, Polish National Hall, Trudy's Helen Trick, St Paul Church, Celebrity Club, Traxs, Regency House, Mr. Fred's, Skylark, Roy Wilkin's Park, Flamingo Lounge, Village Door, Sheraton Hotel, Cooperative Ballroom, Latertulia, Dean Street Cafe, The Edd, Lasameir, IS8 Public School, Bronx Community College, Whiteplains H.S., Woodrow Wilson V.H.S. (AKA August Martin H.S.), Kingsborough College, LaGuardia College, John Jay College, Queensborough Community College, Henry Street Settlement Arts For Living Center, Dwright Marrow H.S., Utica College, Howard University, Public School 183, Princeton University, Parks & Recreations, Medgar Evers College and Hosta College. In addition, Robert has also performed at several Resorts in the Pennsylvania area. Just to mention a few; Woodloch Resort in Mt Poconos Penn, Falls Port Inn & Restaurant In Mt Poconos Penn, Peddlers Village In Lahaska Penn, Eaglesmere Inn Eaglemere Penn., and Great Wolf Lodge in Mt Poconos Penn.
Touring has taken Robert to Arizona’s Tempi,The Roxy Theatre in LA, Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, Rotos Club in Chicago, Hi-Shaperell in Chicago, Chicago’s Baker’s Keyboard lounge, Philadelphia’s Just Jazz, Astrodome Stadium in Texas, Washington’s Blues Alley and WRVR’s concert series with Bobbie Humphrey. He is no stranger to the jazz festivals of Kool and Newport, to mention a few. Robert has performed at Seventh Avenue South and several college concerts featuring The Banks Brothers as well as the Robert Banks Sextet. His discography includes Sophisticated Funk with Brother Jack McDuff and Breezin’ , Moving World, Fight for What is Right and Approaching Storm. with Creative Funk.
Robert’s talents have awarded him several honors and awards for his hard work in his pursuit for excellence. He has received a scholarship from the United Federation of Teachers, a music activity award (Long Island University), recipient of Trickle-up Grant (Queens Business Outreach Center), recipient of The Jazz Foundation of America Grant, recipient of Who’s Who In The World, Who’s Who In America, Who’s Who In Finance and Industry, a member of; 1) The Jazz Network 2) New York City Jazz Network and 3) South African Jazz Network, Certificate of Membership (New York State Association of Realtors, Inc), Real Estate Training Center of Greater New York, Inc (Broker’s Certificate), Forest Hills Adult Education System New York City Board of Education (Salesperson Certificate), Certificate of Merrit of The Association of Teachers of Social Studies, Service Certificate for Instrumentalist: Saxophone & Guitar (Woodrow Wilson V.H.S.), Service Certificate for Electrical Installation (Woodrow Wilson V.H.S.). Besides maintaining status honor rolls and Dean’s lists recognition Robert is also a license and certified Real Estate Broker of New York State, and President of two companies:
1) Total Package Publishing Ltd., and 2) Creative Artist Ltd,
How did you hear about the Jazz Network? Please give full name of contact
I heard about jazz network from a very good friend of mines: Gary DeBerry
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Great Robert, I hope you New Year will be even more pleasant. Indeed I hope this will be the best overall year of your life to date, well until 2010, which I hope and pray will be even better.... Jeff Rise and Shine in 2009.
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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