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
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.
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
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!"