Robert Hurst, a 1982 NEA Presidential Scholar Awardee, who immediately matriculated to Indiana University, has evolved into one of the most in-demand and Top Ten polls ranked bassist of this Century. A Detroit native, Hurst has enjoyed a stellar career spanning 30 years, and is a highly respected and recognized composer, electric and acoustic bassist, educator, recording artist, and business man.
He has toured with and featured on GRAMMY® Award winning recordings by: Sir Paul McCartney, Charles Lloyd, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard, Tony Williams, Nicholas Payton, Sting, Carl Allen, the legendary Pharaoh Sanders, Barbara Streisand, Willie Nelson, Yo Yo Ma, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Botti and Diana Krall.
Robert Hurst was the inaugural bassist in the house band of ’The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno for eight seasons, from 1992 to 1999. His work in performing, directing, arranging, and composing on the NBC program were highlighted with four EMMY® Awards in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999.
Robert‘s own music, which transcends genre while keeping the improvisational genius and fascination of jazz glowing at its center. He has penned original music scores for several films including: ’The Wood – MTV/ Paramount Productions and Brown Sugar– Fox Films.
He appears on over 30 Major Motion Film & Video Soundtracks and has featured solos and performances captured on Block Busters: Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen, and Good Night, and Good Luck the soundtrack, featuring Dianne Reeves.
As a result of Hurst’s virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique multi-lingual styling, he has become acknowledged as a huge, authoritative presence in the music industry. He presently serves as a dedicated Associate Professor of Music, with Tenure, and as the Director of Small Jazz Ensembles in the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (Ann Arbor).
In addition to his activities as a full-time professor of music, globetrotting touring & recording bandleader and sideman and fulfilling ongoing requests as a special guest performer & visiting arts fellow to over 40 Institutions and counting, Hurst maintains membership on the ISIM Advisory Council, has written skill and exercise material published for the Woodshed Master Class Series for DownBeat Magazine, Dec. 2013 and since 2002 has thoughtfully served on the Board of Directors for The John and Alice Coltrane Foundation.
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