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Robert Kaufman
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation:
  • School / Univ. / Institution: Berklee College of Music
  • Country: United States

Robert Kaufman is currently a full Professor at Berklee College of Music. He has over thirty years experience teaching and performing, including the following: Eight years on faculty in the percussion department at Berklee College of Music (19777-1985), where he designed and developed curriculum. Courses included Survey of Drum Styles (History of Jazz Drumming); Ear Training for Percussion; Drum Set in the Rhythm Section; Solo Transcription; Solo Construction; and Chart Reading. Prior to that Robert worked for Arthur Press of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, teaching at his home in Newton, Massachusetts.

Robert left Boston in 1984 and moved to San Francisco, where he performed and recorded in various settings with many great players. He is featured on the CD "Threedom," along with Dave Tidball on saxophone and Bill Douglass on bass. He is also featured on Paula West's CD, "Temptation," for which He performed and provided arrangements. He has recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, for television and radio play.

Robert returned to Boston in 1998 and resumed teaching at Berklee College of Music where He is now Associate Professor of Percussion. He has toured in Korea and Japan, performing and doing clinics. Performance background includes recording sessions, accompaniment for singers and soloists, and television and radio performances (including television commercials) throughout New England, New York, and California. He is currently performing with the groups Kaufman Gertz Bergonzi, Dino Govoni, and Gargonz. Gargonz features a double trio including myself and Bob Goulatti on drums, John Lockwood and Bruce Gertz on basses and George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzi on saxophones. Robert is featured on many CDs, including, most recently, Kaufman Gertz Bergonzi "The Line Between," Dino Govoni "In The Library," and Kaufman Gertz Bergonzi "Dreaming Out Loud."

Robert Kaufman's take on teaching;

"The most significant piece of information I can pass on to a student is the importance of a well-developed and effective method of practicing. If you think of practicing as food, you will realize the importance of feeding yourself a complete and nourishing diet. Your body and mind will assimilate this information, and you will be living with it in the years to come.

"Practicing is a disciplined study of ideas and information. Hopefully, this new information will reach deep parts of your mind and body and will eventually become a part of you. If you try to remember what it was like when you learned to walk and speak, you will acquire a more accepting and patient outlook toward yourself as you approach learning new material.

"The most important advice I can offer for learning new information is to cultivate the ability to focus and direct your attention. The first step is to develop and refine the skill of self-observation. I have found through my own experience as a student, and many years of experience as a teacher, that the most productive students all have cultivated the skill of acute self-observation. The rewards you get from practicing are directly related to the quality of attention you give to yourself and to the material being studied.

"I have over 50 years of playing experience with some of the best musicians on the planet. I have personally known some of the greatest musicians of our time, like Elvin Jones, Charlie Smith, and Joe Henderson. My goal as a teacher is to pass on all my years of experience playing and studying to help speed up the learning process of the student."

Robert Kaufman's accomplishments include;

-Alumnus, Berklee College of Music

-Author of The Art of Drumming and Deeper into the Art of Drumming, published by Advance Music and endorsed by Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, and Roy Haynes

-Performances with Mose Allison, Jerry Bergonzi, Jackie Byard, George Cables, Junior Cook, Charles Fambro, Ricky Ford, Bill Frisell, George Garzone, Steve Grossman, John Handy, Kenny Kirkland, Art Lande, Joe Lovano, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Stern, Harvie Swartz, Miroslav Vitous, and James Williams

-Arranger and performer with Paula West for her CD Temptation

-Recent CD release: Kaufman, Gertz, Bergonzi, The Line Between

-Featured artist on Dino Govoni's release with Mike Pope and Henry Hay

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