Robert C. “Bob” Jones
Bob began his professional performing career as leader of his own twelve-piece band at age sixteen and as contractor for the Portland (OR) Civic Theater summer musical season the following year. He played saxophones, clarinets and flute/piccolo in all types of concert and show bands and orchestras, gave classical recitals, performed with the Oregon Symphony and Portland Opera, and Chamber Music Northwest. He was a soloist with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, North Coast Chamber Orchestra, at the World Saxophone Congress, and founded and led the Oregon Saxophone Quartet. He was elected as the youngest CEO of the Portland (Oregon) local musicians’ union, the youngest elected to the American Federation of Musicians International Executive Board, and its only active career musician at the time. For fifteen years Bob maintained a large private teaching class and was adjunct faculty in woodwinds at Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College and Reed College.
His instrumental studies began with Ted Moore, principal flute of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra (pupil of Julius Baker and Marcel Moyse) who was also a an extraordinary clarinetist and saxophonist. Bob went on to study with Ronald Phillips (principal, Seattle Symphony) and Antonio Raimondi (LAPhil). He studied saxophone with Russell Cheever (Hollywood Saxophone Quartet), Eugene Rousseau, Donald Sinta, and attended master class/clinics with Al Gallodoro and Sigurd Rascher.
In 1980, Bob gave up his instruments entirely to devote all his energies to orchestra management. He was VP & General Manager of the Minnesota Orchestra, President of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and concurrently President of the National Symphony Orchestra and VP, Music for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has also held the positions of Executive Director, Long Beach Symphony and Opera Pacific.
n 2012, Bob and his wife, Susan, returned to their Eastern Shore (MD) house full-time. In 2015, they created Chesapeake International Arts to provide arts industry organizations and individuals with support services and to help select performing, visual, and literary artists to gain traction and eventual access to the world’s audiences.
After a 34-year hiatus from playing his instruments, Bob became sufficiently inspired by Brazilian ragtime, known as choro music, to “reboot” himself as a musician. He and Susan, have combined their talents and founded the immediately successful choro ensemble, Zéfiro, and later, a spin-off group called ClariNUTS.