Bobby Enriquez

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Roberto Delprado Yulo Enriquez (1943–1996), better known as Bobby Enriquez, was a Filipino jazz pianist who became prominent in the United States and well-known internationally as "the Wildman," a title he earned through his very hyper piano playing. A virtuoso who was largely self-taught from the age of four, Enriquez was a professional by the time he was 14. In the 1960s, he played in Manila, Hong Kong, and Honolulu, becoming Don Ho's musical director for a time. He arrived on the mainland in the early '70s, toured with Richie Cole during 1980-1981, and made his debut on record in 1981. Enriquez cut eight albums for GNP/Crescendo during 1981-1985, which made his reputation. His technique and ability to think very fast were quite impressive. He also recorded for Portrait (1987) and a 1990 date for the Japanese Paddle Wheel label has been issued domestically on Evidence. ~ Scott Yanow

Early life[edit]

Born on the island of Negros just north of Mindanao. his first love was the piano but his mother wanted him to concentrate on schoolwork. he started his professional career as a musician at the age of 14, sneaking out his second floor bedroom window at night to play gigs and when his mother found out what he was doing at night she shut down the piano and told him to concentrate on homework. So he ran away from home and went to Manila. Once in Manila, he joined various jazz groups and from there he played in Taipei and Hong Kong where he met such jazz luminaries as Mel Tormé, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente, and Chico Hamilton. And eventually he landed a major gig at the famed Golden Dragon Lounge in Honolulu, and while in Hawaii he became Don Ho's orchestra leader and musical director.

Career[edit]

In 1967, he arrived in Los Angeles and played briefly for The Sunspots, before moving to Hawaii where he became Don Ho's musical director. He also performed with Amapola Cabase from 1976 to 1977 in Japantown, San Francisco, California, followed by appearances at the Wagon Wheel, and eventually Harrah's Hotel In Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Alto saxophonist Richie Cole discovered him there and asked him to join his band. Enriquez participated in several Richie Cole albums in the 1980s, most notably Alive! at the Village Vanguard and the groundbreaking The Madman Meets The Wild Man.

He recorded a number of astonishing jazz albums for Crescendo Records in the 1980s and was known as "the Wildman" for his unpredictable yet engrossing piano style.

He is not the Bobby Enriquez whose name appears in the Internet Movie Database as playing a bartender in the 1988 movie Kansas (film) – this is a different artist.

Personal life[edit]

Enriquez' children with Jeanann Cortez are in order from the eldest - Melody, Melissa, Larissa, Robert Jean and Annalissa. He later remarried to Barbara Enriquez and had children named Alexander, Tatiana and John Robert who wasn't born when his father died in 1996. All his children inherited their father's musical gifts.

Enriquez became a born-again Christian in 1993 and openly spoke of how God "changed his life". He also played wonderful "jazz-style" hymns during church events in his local church in Bayonne, New Jersey. He died on August 6, 1996.

Discography[edit]

  • Wild Piano
  • Live! in Tokyo
  • The Wildman Returns
  • The Prodigious Piano of Bobby Enriquez
  • Andalucia/Incredible Jazz
  • Sophisticated Lady" with Amapola
  • The Wildman Meets The Madman with Richie Cole

References[edit]

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/OBITUARY-Bobby-Enriquez-2970136.php

External links[edit]