Bob Keefer (Percussion/Trombone):

The trouble started when Bob Keefer took a few piano lessons in second grade.  He began with the trombone in the fifth grade, and continued playing right through college. While in graduate school, his trombone was stolen, and he didn't play for several years.  Oddly, there was no outcry.

When some Mount St. Mary's professors got a jazz band started (then called Physical Therapy), he acquired a a used trombone at a flea market and started attending rehearsals, eventually being asked to join as a full member.  When our highly competent drummer had the nerve to go off to college, the other members of the band asked Bob to be the percussionist, and fearing that the position of roadie might not be available, he accepted.

Bob is a Social Psychologist and has been at the Mount since 1986. His musical influences, in terms of playing, were mostly classical and marching band music; he is new to jazz, but trying to learn. Bob also strums an acoustic guitar, but has not attempted to add that to the Fire City mix. Bob also sings (although not often with Fire City), and was even choir director for a year when he was in graduate school.

Gear Bob plays a 5-piece Ludwig drum set, with Zindjlian Cymbals.  Bob also plays a hand-made djembe from West Africa, and occasionally, a trio of Latin Percussion (LP) Aspire congas . 

When he gets a chance, Bob currently plays a King 606 (a so-called 'student horn'), but would like to obtain a King 2B or 3B as soon as he can afford it (maybe after the kids are out of college!). He also has an F. E. Olds marching trombone, which looks like a fluglehorn on steroids. He usually uses a 12C mouthpiece, but has been experimenting with other sizes. 

Advice Bob's advice to young trombone players is to keep your eyes open when your bandmates start saying, "Gee, Bob, you really keep time well!"  Also, try some of the "music minus one" type book/CD combinations. For the trombone, he would suggest The Music of Duke Elliginton, published by Warner Brothers Publications (ISBN 0-7692-7792-6) Jazz & Blues Playalong solos for Trombone from Hal Leonard Corporation, (ISBN 0-634-00446-8).  Bob would also recommend listening to the giants of jazz trombone. For starters, try J. J. Johnson, Kai Winding, and Carl Fontana.  To young drummers, Bob says "practice your rudiments, and stop trying to break that cymbal!"

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Last Updated: 20 November 2004