As one would expect from someone born into a family of eclectic musical backgrounds (from church organist to classical trumpeter to jazz saxophonist), Robert Chapman began his musical studies at a young age. Like all the males in his family, Robert was destined to be a trumpet player, but discovered his love for the percussive arts at age 11 and gave it all up to pursue his passion for the marimba. Since then, he has had the opportunity to perform in concert halls in countries all over the world, including Costa Rica, Poland, and Belgium, and has studied with some of the top musicians in their field.
As a marimba soloist, Robert has received recognition internationally through his performances and competitions. In 2009, he placed in the final round of the US Marine Band Concerto Competition, and took first place at the PASIC Marching Keyboard Competition. After spending a few years honing his craft and performing with artists such as Andy Narell and Mark Nuccio, he re-entered the competition circuit in 2016, taking first place at the 2016 PASIC International Marimba Solo Competition. Since then, he has placed in the finals at the 2017 Great Plains International Marimba Competition and took first place at the 2018 Great Plains International Marimba Competition.
Robert’s passion for the marimba is matched only in his passion for world music. As a steel drummer, he performed with Andy Narell and Lord Relator in the 2012 University of Calypso band at PASIC 2012, and has had the opportunity to perform and study with Ray Holman of the Invaders Steel Orchestra, and Liam Teague of the Skiffle Bunch Steelband. He is also an active student of both the Carnatic music tradition of South India and the Hindustani music tradition of North India, and frequently performs in these styles with his teachers, Poovalur Sriji and Dr. Vivek Virani, respectively. Robert continues to explore ways to fuse these passions into a truly unique musical experience.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Music as well as a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, both with a concentration in percussion performance. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
Robert is proudly endorsed by Innovative Percussion and Tama/Bergerault as an educational artist.
For more information, feel free to check out Robert’s website at
www.robertchapmanpercussion.com, or follow him on Instagram and Youtube, @robertchapmanpercussion.