Robert Hurst, a 1982 NEA Presidential Scholar Awardee, who immediately matriculated to Indiana University, has evolved into one of the most in-demand and Top Ten polls ranked bassist of this Century.
A Detroit native, Hurst has enjoyed a stellar career spanning 30 years, and is a highly respected and well recognized composer, electric and acoustic bassist, educator, recording artist, and business man. His cultivation into a membership of talented musicians from around the world was fostered by lengthy tours and GRAMMY® Award winning recordings featuring: Sir Paul McCartney, Charles Lloyd, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard, Tony Williams, Nicholas Payton, Sting, Carl Allen, the legendary Pharaoh Sanders, Barbara Streisand, Willie Nelson, Yo Yo Ma, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Botti and Diana Krall.
Robert Hurst has performed on over 150 diverse and critically acclaimed recordings. A select group of these productions have garnered him performances yielding seven GRAMMY® Awards, several RIAA ® certified- Multi-Platinum and Gold recordings whilst his own seven recordings as a Bandleader have all generated Top Ten and Five Star recognition around the Globe. It is probable that you have identified Hurst amongst the jazz world’s most promising new groups and established artists; however, you may also recognize Robert Hurst as the inaugural bassist in the house band of “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno for eight seasons, from 1992 to 1999. His work in performing, directing, arranging, and composing on the NBC program were highlighted with four EMMY® Awards in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999.
Robert‘s music, which transcends genre while keeping the improvisational genius and fascination of jazz glowing at its center, has also penned original music scores for several films including: “The Wood”- MTV/ Paramount Productions, “Brown Sugar”- Fox Films. Hurst appears on over 30 Major Motion Film & Video Soundtracks and has featured solos and performances captured on Block Busters: “Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen,” and “Good Night, and Good Luck “the soundtrack, featuring Dianne Reeves, on Concord Records (A 2006 Grammy Awardee- Jazz Vocal).
As a result of Hurst’s virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique multi-lingual styling, he has been recognized as a huge, authoritative presence in the music industry. Adored by students, critics, master musicians and fellow educators alike, Robert Hurst has expanded his reach of influence and presently serves as a dedicated Associate Professor of Music, with Tenure, and the Director of Small Jazz Ensembles in the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor. In addition to his activities as a full-time professor of music, globetrotting bandleader and sideman and fulfilling ongoing requests as a special guest performer & visiting arts fellow to over 40 Institutions and counting, Hurst maintains membership on the ISIM Advisory Council, has written skill and exercise materials published for the Woodshed Master Class Series in DownBeat Magazine, and has thoughtfully served, since 2002, on the Board of Directors for The John and Alice Coltrane Foundation. Robert returns triumphant to the CD scene with his newest release and third consecutive Critic’s Top Pick (2011-2014): “BoB: a Palindrome” 2013. “Bob Ya Head”, (Nationally Ranked #9 on CMJ charts, 2011) and “Unrehurst” Vol. 2, (Nationally Ranked Top Ten Jazz CD for 2011).