The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast; Episode #23: Bobby Burns Jr.

Episode #23 – Bobby Burns Jr.

Trumpet Podcast Logo Bobby Burns Jr.

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #23 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features Bobby Burns Jr., trumpet player with Earth, Wind & Fire.

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About Bobby Burns Jr.

Trumpeter Bobby Burns Jr. is our special guest.
Trumpeter Bobby Burns Jr. is our special guest. Photo courtesy of Bobby Burns

Bobby Burns Jr. began his music career at Indiana University as an undeclared major. Although he was accepted into the University, he was not proficient to be accepted into the Indiana School of Music. After 2 years of remedial classes, (and hours in the practice room), Bobby re-auditioned and was accepted as a music education major.

At the time, famed trumpet teacher Bill Adams was one of three trumpet instructors with players such as Jerry Hey, Charlie Davis, and Larry Hall to his credit. Bobby wanted to study with Bill Adams and after a bit of coercion, harassing and convincing, he was accepted into Bill Adams’ studio. Bobby studied under Bill Adams for 7 years alongside Chris Botti. Before graduating, Bobby had changed his major to trumpet performance and after a brief stint at the Bach Trumpet Factory, he returned to school and completed his Bachelor’s in Music specializing in trumpet performance.

Upon graduating, Bobby moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. Some of his first performance credits included an ice show at the Reno Hilton, the Sherman Hemsley Band (“George Jefferson” from The Jeffersons T.V. show), and the Disneyland Band. Bobby continued to work odd jobs while pursuing music throughout his early time in L.A.

Bobby Burns playing flugelhorn in concert. Photo courtesy of Bobby Burns.
Bobby Burns playing flugelhorn in concert. Photo courtesy of Bobby Burns.

After moving to L.A. Bobby began teaching privately while continuing to work “day jobs”. Some of his early jobs include the J.C. Penny’s Phone Center, a collection agent for a hospital, and an exterminator. It took roughly 6 years of working in L.A. for Bobby to secure enough music performance work to give up his “day gig”. During this time, Bobby began subbing with the Bayou Brass Band in Disneyland, the Main Disneyland Band, and freelancing in the L.A. area.

Building on his success, Bobby was requested by Micky Nadell, an L.A. area music contractor, to perform with some of the major musical productions. Along with his work in musicals, Bobby was acquiring symphony jobs performing with the Antelope Valley Symphony, the Burbank Symphony, the Torrance Symphony, and the Southeast Symphony. He also began teaching at Antelope Valley College. While pursuing his freelancing performance opportunities, Bobby recorded and performed with headliners and artists such as The Temptations, The Stylistics, The Four Tops, Boys to Men, Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Ice T.

In 2000 Bobby was called to tour with Macy Gray. He toured with her for approximately 1 year before joining Suessical the Musical. After a 1 year stint with Suessical.., he toured with different Broadway shows touring Europe including Evita and A Chorus Line. In 2004, after recording an overdub for the the Grammy’s for Earth Wind and Fire, Bobby was asked to join the band.

Bobby Burns with Earth, Wind & Fire
Bobby Burns with Earth, Wind & Fire. Photo courtesy of Bobby Burns.

Bobby joined Earth Wind and Fire in March of 2004. His performance credits with the band include the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award show, American Idol, a performance for President Barack Obama at the White House, two Super Bowl shows, the Grammy Awards show, and countless others. Presently, Bobby continues to tour with Earth Wind and Fire performing and traveling over 200 days a year.

Bobby continues to be excited for the success of upcoming musicians and hopes to use his experience to educate and grow ambitious musicians.

Bobby Burns Jr. Trumpet Links

Trumpet Podcast Credits

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