BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Robert Larson recently retired from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, where he taught for thirty-nine years.  He held many roles during his tenure at Shenandoah including Director of Jazz Studies for thirty years and served three terms as Instrumental Division Chair. Larson conducted the Conservatory Jazz Ensemble from 1987-2000, and during his tenure the ensemble performed with Randy Brecker, Billy Taylor, Bob Berg, Conrad Herwig, Allen Vizzutti, Vince DiMartino, Chris Vadala, and many others. The ensemble performed in China, Japan, Spain, France, and Iceland as well as throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Larson taught courses in jazz history, jazz improvisation, jazz repertoire, jazz pedagogy, jazz theory, traditional theory, and private jazz piano instruction. His book, Arranging for the Small Jazz Ensemble (Armfield Academic Press) has received glowing reviews from jazz educators and students across the country and internationally and is used extensively at the collegiate level. His latest book, Practical Jazz Piano: A Comprehensive Method, serves as a culmination of his teaching materials and philosophy gained by almost fifty years of teaching jazz piano. His articles have been published in the College Music Society, the Music Educators Journal, the Virginia Music Educators Association Journal, and the International Association of Jazz Educators Papers. Dr. Larson has presented at conferences for the Jazz Educators Network, the National Jazz Workshop, and for the National Association of Jazz Educators on the early recordings of Bill Evans, critical listening, and arranging techniques. An active clinician, he has provided clinics throughout the region and adjudicated at many jazz festivals and competitions. His CD, Popular Delusions, has earned national radio play, and features the finest musicians in the Washington DC region. Bob can be heard on two recordings with the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra – Two Seconds to Midnight and Primetime featuring Doc Severinsen. He performs with his own trio, with the Capitol Bones, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the MLO Fusion Project, and many others. Larson has served on the touring panel for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the board of First Night Winchester, and was the host of the National Jazz Workshop at Shenandoah Conservatory for twelve years. He holds degrees from Eastern Washington University, the University of Oregon, and Shenandoah Conservatory.