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, show and dance 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, and at a World Saxophone Congress. The Oregon Saxophone Quartet, of which Bob was founder, leader and soprano saxophonist, was invited by Eugene Rousseau to be artist(s) in residence at his Summer Saxophone Camp at Shell Lake, WI, and to perform both classical and jazz concerts.
In addition to giving classical saxophone recitals, Bob appeared as soloist with orchestras and concert bands performing Glazounov, Ibert, Rivier, Schuller, Villa-Lobos, Badings, Bilik and others. His commercial experience includes dozens of arena and pit shows for national touring companies and acts, including Broadway, ballet, ice shows, circuses and popular stars (Johnny Mathis, Sonny & Cher, The Temptations, Wayne Newton, Nancy Wilson, Bob Hope, Ed Ames, Lou Rawls, Roy Clark, Della Reese, and many more. Lead alto saxophone gigs with well-known bandleaders include Mel Torme, Neal Hefti, Les Elgart, Nelson Riddle, Doc Severinson.
For fifteen years Bob maintained a large private teaching studio often reaching 70 pupils per week. He was adjunct faculty in woodwinds at Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College and Reed College. His students have won scholarships to prestigious colleges and universities and had professional careers.
While continuing to play and teach, his colleagues elected him as the youngest CEO of the Portland (Oregon) local musicians’ union (1968), the youngest elected to the American Federation of Musicians International Executive Board (1978), its only active career musician at the time.
In 1980, Bob gave up his instruments entirely and resigned his local and International union offices, for a new 32-yearcareer in 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.
In 2012, Bob and his wife, Susan, returned to their Eastern Shore (MD) second home full-time. After a 32-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 their Brazilian choro ensemble, Zéfiro. They also offer a virtuosic program of light classical and novelty pieces with informative and sometimes humorous narrative as The ClariNUTS. Both ensembles perform for private and public events, in a variety of venues, around the Mid-Shore region of Maryland.
He and Susan, have combined their talents and founded the immediately successful choro ensemble, Zéfiro, and later, a spin-off group called ClariNUTS.