Tribute to Bob Brozman-World Music Guitarist of the Year

A TRIBUTE TO BOB BROZMAN – WORLD MUSIC – GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

Many of us spent a week or two at Columbia Univ. at International guitar seminars. Bob Brozman and Woody Mann were the co-founders of this prestigious seminar that started off the millennium. The students that attended were promised they would be able to add additional skills to their musical toolbox. With all the new found poly-rhythms….Bob said he wanted us to “walk with a funkier groove”. Students learned more in one week than the they had in the past decade. As a musician and instructor Bob was a musical and sensory overload. The seminars lasted a few years and Bob and Woody taught perhaps 500 students both in the U.S and abroad. Many of these students have gone on to play professionally and semi professionally. We were sent out from the Jefferson Hall of Journalism after our last concert with an understanding. “Hold fast to the spirit of youth, and let the years do what they may!” Bob left us an appreciation for risk and courage, he exhorted to his students, “stand tall and be proud!”
Mr. Brozman went out of his way to play a small music festival in my community. The following week he was playing the Lincoln Center. He had little regard and even contempt for pop stardom. It was a much larger world out there..and musically he wanted to comprehend as much as he could. He had strongly held politcal opinions and since he had earned his “junior philosophers badge” when he turned 50. He made an incredibly intelligent emissary for the U.S. In his travels that often lasted 6 or 7 months abroad each year.

While staying at my house he perused my library and read one of my books…. in an afternoon. This book had taken me a week or two to read. We discussed it in detail and I realized he had fully grasped the entirety of this book. He acknowledged that he seemed to have the capacity to learn and speed read with rather great proficiency.
Bob also left major record labels behind. He once mentioned that selling a million CD’s on a major label is the equivalent to selling 10,000 CD’s on his private label. We were discussing entrepreneurship and he then stated that he has between 20 and 30 CD’s and none of them have sold less than that 10,000 mark. That equates to 20 or 30 gold records, much to his credit.
I was playing music in a small cafe, in a small town, in a remote region of Italy. It was a CD release party and I was the opening act. The main musician came up to me afterwards and said “you sound a bit like Bob Brozman”. Unbeknownst to me, Bob had been there the week before.
Bob spread his music far and wide, he had little regard to the U.S. Market. I phoned Bob when I got home and told him of my musical coincidence in far off Italy. I told him that when I arrived in this community they were “walking with a funkier groove”.

Bob Brozman – Born: March 8, 1954, New York City Died: April 24, 2013,

Bill Keitel
billkeitel@areavoices.com

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