The jazz guitarist shares a passion for music while mentoring others

CHICAGO – He is an accomplished jazz guitarist who has played alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. With a career spanning decades, Bobby Broom credits much of his success to his passion for music and key mentors.

Broom is a professional jazz guitarist, composer and, as of last summer, an associate professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University.

Broom first picked up the guitar at the age of 12 and, along with the sounds of legendary guitarist George Benson, left a lasting impression.

“It really changed my life,” he said. “That day I decided that I wanted to pursue music and jazz on the guitar.”

Broom is a native New Yorker. He entered the professional scene earlier while he was still in high school. From a young age he played with some of the jazz greats.

He also worked with legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins in both New York and Chicago, which he has called home since 1986.

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But with its success has come a commitment to give back.

For the past 24 years, Broom has helped students with the Ravinia Jazz Mentor Program, a program that matches mentors with Chicago high school students who love jazz.

With a degree in Jazz Education, Broom says his teaching philosophy is to share his experience and knowledge and train students to listen by ear.

Broom still has his “full time” job, but plays live and gigs with his band, the Bobby Broom Trio. He hopes his students will take away the art of compassion and sharing from his classes and that his audience will appreciate the art of jazz.

“Jazz is a very democratic art, it’s based on group and team work and such principles that would be great if they were celebrated more,” he said.

Broom has just released his 14th album Keyed Up. The jazz guitarist shares a passion for music while mentoring others

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