Bob Baldwin (musician)

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Bob Baldwin
2018-06-24 11.49.34 HDR.jpg
Bob Baldwin at Ponce City Market, Atlanta, GA
Background information
Birth nameRobert Baldwin
Born (1960-12-09) December 9, 1960 (age 58)
Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, urban
Occupation(s)Musician, Arranger, Producer, Radio Host, Inventor
InstrumentsPiano, Keyboards
Years active1989–present
LabelsAtlantic, 215, Shanachie, Malaco, CSI, Narada, Nu Groove, Peak, Trippin' N' Rhythm, Orpheus, A440, Distribution 13, BFE
Bob Baldwin on the piano at the Maya Riviera Jazz Festival, Nov 30, 2018 (Bob Baldwin, Lori Williams/Bebel Gilberto @ Mamitas Beadh, Playa de Carmen, Mexico)

Bob Baldwin (born December 9, 1960) is an American, New York State born, contemporary jazz pianist, music composer, author, radio host and music producer, who learned music from his father, Robert Baldwin, Sr. Baldwin's recording career started in 1983 and his debut album, A Long Way to Go, released in 1988. His latest (and 30th) release, Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road and the Beatles, which honors the English pop group, the Beatles. All but seven discs in his solo recording catalog are owned by his label, City Sketches, Inc.

He has released more musical full-album recordings as a lead solo artist than any other Mt. Vernon, NY-native or any Westcheter-born musician, having released over 27 recordings since 1988 (see discography).

Baldwin has earned five SESAC Music awards,[1] initially for his 2002–2003 airplay of "The Way She Looked at Me", followed by his 2008 airplay on, one in 2010 for his Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson, in 2011 for NewUrbanJazz.com2 / Re-Vibe, and his 2013 album Twenty. His 2015 release, MelloWonder: Songs in the Key of Stevie, which honors Stevie Wonder, debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard Overall Jazz Chart.[2]

He's also written and/or arranged for Regina Carter, The Four Tops, Grover Washington, Jr., Paul Brown, Richard Elliot, Marion Meadows, Ragan Whiteside, Lori Williams, Tom Browne, Bob James, Will Downing, Freddie Jackson, Rhonda Smith, James Robinson, Joey Sommerville, Vaneese Thomas, Tiffany Bynoe, Howard Hewitt, Whistle, Michael Urbaniak, the Lisa ("Left-Eye") Lopez'-produced girl group Blacque, Steve Oliver, Mel Holder, Dee Brown, Dee Lucas, Canadian trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Pieces of a Dream.

In 1996, Baldwin performed briefly in Tom Browne’s band, and in 1997, Browne asked Baldwin to participate on "No Longer I" for Browne on the Malaco Jazz Label. This Gospel-Jazz offering was only preceded by the groups Koinonia and the A&M group Seawind in the history of Gospel-Jazz, and Baldwin performed on, co-produced and co-arranged the disc for Browne.

He co-wrote and co-produced two songs on Will Downing's All the Man You Need album, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2000 (Best Traditional R&B Album). He has also contributed as composer, co-producer and performer on Ragan Whiteside's Treblemaker, which charted three top-40 Billboard Contemporary Jazz radio singles.[3]

Featured artists on his own solo recordings since 1988 include; Eric Essix, Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Phil Perry, Fred Vigdor, Atlantic Starr original members Sharon Bryant and Porter Carroll, Jr., Noel Pointer, Lenny White, Larry Coryell, Dean James, Jeff Kashiwa, Chieli Minucci, Chuck Loeb, Edson Da Silva, Leo Gandelman, Lil' John Roberts (drummer), James Robinson, Rohn Lawrence, Darren Rahn, Russ Freeman (Rippingtons), Dennis Johnson, Barry Danielian, Poogie Bell, Euge Groove, CeCe Peniston, Najee, U-Nam, Steve Oliver, Toni Redd, Nils Jiptner, Marcus Anderson, Walter Beasley, Freddy V (AWB), as well as the aformentioned Sommerville, Robinson, Washington, Jr., Brown, Meadows, Whiteside, Williams, Downing, Browne, Thomas, and Jackson.

Bob has shared the stage with: Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Veasley, Rick Braun, Peter White, Eric Darius and Adam Hawley.

Baldwin grew up in a musical environment. His father, Robert Baldwin, Sr., (1926-2008) was a full-time Engineer, and a part-time pianist who worked local clubs throughout Westchester County, NY, just north of New York City. While his father was a fan of such jazz icons like Mikes Davis, Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson, his older sister, Deborah, was a fan of soul music of the 1960’s, including music by Motown, Stax record labels. These early musical experiences profoundly impacted Baldwin's musical path. He's also a fan of his elder cousin, jazz pianist Larry Willis, who played with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band.

In 1987, Sony founded the Sony Innovator's Awards, an annual ceremony to award aspiring Afro-American artists who have shown outstanding talent in music and the visual arts. In his opening speech at the first ceremony held in 1988, music producer Quincy Jones stated that it was encouraging that a large firm like Sony was providing Afro-American artists a chance to be introduced to the entire nation. Baldwin was awarded the Sony Innovators Award in 1989,[4] selected by Roberta Flack.[5]

Out of necessity to maintain creative control, he independently learned how to record music from engineers Wayne Warnecke, Dennis. In 1990, Baldwin worked briefly with producer/arranger/keyboardist Kashif, where he learned about the ‘wall of sound’ panning technique. In 1989 -1990, he was hired by Kashif to play keyboards and piano on a recording project by a group called The Promise (Arista Records) featuring vocalist Joi Cardwell, but the project was never released.


He attended Geneva College in 1978, and graduated in 1986, but to complete his degree, he would have to attend several New York-based Colleges, including Hunter, Concordia and Iona, transferring credits back to Geneva between 1980-1986. He majored in Business Administration and minored in Broadcast Communication.

It was at Geneva College where he discovered Broadcasting radio and hosted his first radio program at college radio station WGEV from 1979-1980, and after falling short on college funding at Geneva, he returned to New York in 1981, where he completed his college degree, and while in New York, he further developed his broadcasting skills. He later founded the NewUrbanJazz radio program in 2008, which originally aired on WFSK, WNAA, WJAB, WVAS, and WVSU.

Baldwin is listed as a famous Geneva College Alumni, according to Ranker.[6]

Radio career[edit]

Between 1978-1980, Baldwin discovered his love of radio at Geneva College at WGEV, where he minored in Broadcast Communications. It was there he learned radio production, and was a jazz jock on Sunday nights. At Geneva College, he also re-ignited his love for the piano.

Baldwin returned back to New York in January, 1981 to utilize and further hone both his music and radio skills. He finished his college career at Concordia, Hunter and Iona Colleges while doing local gigs in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester County.

In September of 1981, Baldwin secured a radio internship at Inner City Broadcasting (WLIB/WBLS) in New York, NY, then owned by Tuskegee Airman Percy Sutton, where he studied news reporting, and honed other broadcasting skills under the tutelage of then News Director Pat Prescott, the late Carl Ferguson[7] News Director David Lampel, Larry Hardesty, and Mark Reilly.

In 1981-1983, he worked briefly at WINS, then-owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, where he pulled news wire for the staff writers.

In 1984, he was a field news reporter in Westchester County for WVIP Radio, then located in Mt. Kisco, NY (now located in New Rochelle, NY). He covered the Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign that same year when Jackson came to Shiloh Baptist Church in New Rochelle.

Baldwin reunited with the aforementioned Prescott when she worked for CD101.9 in New York. Prescott introduced Baldwin's music there in the late 1980's. Between 1998 and 2004, he wrote, sang and produced the CD101.9 jingle, up to when they changed their smooth jazz format to "New York Chill" in 2004.

In 2004, he was hired by Tame Broadcasting[8] as the Music Director at WJSJ (Jacksonville, Fl.), and after that tenure, he helped to launch the first ever smooth jazz station in Bermuda (KJAZ - Trott Communications) from 2005 to 2006.

Baldwin then worked as the Music Director in 2007 at WCLK (Clark University), then later that fall at WJZZ, a Radio-One company. Radio-One's WJZZ became Urban AC “Magic 107.5” at 12:00am.[9]

In 2008, Baldwin started programming music at both WCLK and WJZZ, which he would later coin the programming sound as "NewUrbanJazz". He later founded the NewUrbanJazz Lounge, a weekly syndicated program.

The NewUrbanJazz radio program[edit]

In October, 2008, Baldwin fused his musician and radio skills and launched NewUrbanJazz Radio, which programs The NewUrbanJazz Lounge, a 2-hour program that is affiliated on over 40 stations in the U.S. WJAB (Huntsville, Al), WFSK (Nashville, Tn), WNAA (Greensboro, NC), WVAS (Montgomery, Al) and WVSU (Birmingham) were their initial affiliate base. NewUrbanJazz is a fusion of contemporary Jazz, fused with Urban and Brazilian flavors, but also spins music from independent artists. Baldwin's decision to launch NewUrbanJazz Radio Format was based on the sudden closure of CD101.9.[10], and his show has expanded to stations in Springfield (WEIB), Atlanta (WCLK), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (WTJX), as well as some stations under the African-American Publc Radio Consortium.

Early career[edit]

Between March and September 1986, Baldwin, along with New York-based guitarist Al Orlo, created the Bob Baldwin/Al Orlo Project, and they performed on Sundays at the Vinnie Pastore-owned Crazy Horse,[11] a now-defunct small rock and roll club (with a capacity of 50 people) in New Rochelle, New York. It was a workshop-based project to practice and perform live original material written by Orlo and Baldwin.

Baldwin opened up for the aforementioned trumpeter Browne at The Bottom Line, based in New York City, NY. From that performance, he played alongside Browne in his band, and later collaborated with him on his disc No Longer I, a Gospel-Jazz recording in 1987. Through that production, he met Danny Weiss, the then President for Malaco Jazz. They later co-produced Baldwin's first disc, I've Got a Long Way to Go together on Malaco Records in 1988 along with David Wilkes. He began his Contemporary Jazz music career with his first solo album release in 1988 ("I've Got a Long Way To Go") on Malaco Jazz Records.The project was submitted to the Sony Innovators Award[5] in 1989 and won first place. One of the top three finalists included the Detroit music group Straight Ahead.[12] Roberta Flack was the finalist judge.

That award led to his artist signing to Atlantic Jazz, then presided by Sylvia Rhone. He produced 2 discs for in 1990 and 1992 (Rejoice and Reflections of Love). Reflections charted top-20 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts.[13]

In 1997, Baldwin found the company, City Sketches, Inc., a production music house. It is now where Baldwin houses all of his self-owned recordings.

Since 2000, Baldwin has charted other solo recordings (on various labels) for the Billboard Jazz top-20 charts, including (2000), Brazil Chill (2004), Standing Tall (2002), (2008), Never Can Say Goodbye, a Tribute to Michael Jackson (2010).[14]

After recording two projects with the Chicago-based A440 Music Group, his solely-owned record label, City Sketches, Inc., purchased the rights from the A440 Music Group ("Brazil Chill" and "All in a Day's Work"), prior to their bankruptcy filing in 2005.[15]

In 2009, he signed with Trippin' n Rhythm Records and recorded "Never Can Say Goodbye" (2010), and "NewUrbanJazz 2/Re-Vibe" (2011). He severed the deal in 2012.

In 2012, he authored a book, entitled, You Better Ask Somebody, which speaks about his over twenty-five years of experience in the music business.

In 2013, continuing the independent music ownership route, releasing his 20th original disc "Twenty" under the Distribution 13 (Lillian Industries) Music Distribution label. That deal was severed and settled out-of-court after Artist filed a lawsuit for not receiving contractually due royalties.

In 2015, his label has signed with Red River Entertainment, where they distribute the following physical discs of the Baldwin catalog ("MelloWonder - Songs in the Key of Stevie", "The Brazilian-American Soundtrack", "The Gift of Christmas", "Never Can Say Goodbye (A Tribute to Michael Jackson)" - Remixed and ReMastered. City Sketches, Inc. distributes digital recordings via a separate digital aggregator.[16] with The Orchard, which is wholly owned by Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

In 2018, Baldwin was able to purchase the rights back from his Shanachie recordings ("Cool Breeze" and "The American Spirit").

Other work[edit]

In 1997, Baldwin founded City Sketches, Inc., which is a music production, and music event planning company. He has worked with city municipalities in an effort to improve locally produced jazz shows and venues. He has curated music series programs in conjunction with the cities/municipalities of Greenburgh, NY, White Plains, NY, Asbury Park, NJ, Riviera Beach, Fl., and Mount Vernon, NY.

In 2006, Baldwin signed on with Baldwin Piano (owned by Gibson Guitar Corp.) as an endorser.[17]

In the historic The Jazz of the City Atlanta portrait taken by Art Kane in April 2007, Baldwin stands tall—at the height of the stairs of the Atlanta City Hall Atrium—with over 100 fellow jazz musicians surrounding Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Discography (albums)[edit]

Disc # Year Album Label Billboard Chart Activity Original Label
30* 2018 Welcome To The Games (Remixed and ReMastered) CSI City Sketches (CSI) Records
29 2018 Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road and the Beatles CSI/BFE Peaked #10 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart[14]

City Sketches (CSI) Records
28* 2017 Never Out of Season (Remixed and ReMastered) CSI City Sketches (CSI) Records
27* 2017 Never Can Say Goodbye (Remixed and ReMastered) CSI/BFE City Sketches (CSI) Records
26 2016 The Brazilian-American Soundtrack' (2-Cd Set)' CSI/BFE Peaked No. 14 on Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart[14] City Sketches (CSI) Records
25 2015 MelloWonder / Songs in the Key of Stevie CSI/BFE Debuted No. 16 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] City Sketches (CSI) Records
24 2013 Twenty CSI/BFE Peaked No. 3 on

Contemporary Jazz Album


City Sketches (CSI) Records
23 2012 The Gift of Christmas CSI City Sketches (CSI) Records
22 2012 Betcha by Golly Wow/The Music of Thom Bell Peak Peaked No. 11 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2]
21 2012 Never Out of Season CSI City Sketches (CSI) Records
20 2011 NewUrbanJazz.com2: Re-Vibe CSI Peaked No. 9 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] Distributed by Trippn' 'n Rhythm
19 2010 Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson Trippn' 'n Rhythm Peaked No. 14 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] Distributed by Trippn' 'n Rhythm
18 2009 Bob Baldwin (3 disc compilation) Nu Groove
17 2009 Lookin' Back CSI Distributed by Nu Groove
16 2008 Nu Groove Peaked No. 15 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] Distributed by Nu Groove
15 2007 Memoirs from the Hudson (DVD) Nu Groove Distributed by Nu Groove
14 2007 Soul Providers Featuring Bob Baldwin/Smooth Urban Grooves Import Distributed by Koch Records
13 2007 The Sanctioned Bootleg - live CSI Distributed by Nu Groove
12 2005 All in A Day's Work CSI Peaked No. 14 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] NuGroove
11 2004 Brazil Chill CSI Peaked No. 13 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] A440 (Bankrupt)
10 2002 Standing Tall Narada Peaked No. 12 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] Narada
09 2002 Bob Baldwin Presents the American Spirit CSI Formerly Distributed/Owned by Shanachie
08 2000 CSI Peaked No. 16 on Contemporary Jazz Album[2] Distributed by Orpheus Records
07 2000 For You (UK Release) Expansion
06 1997 Cool Breeze CSI Formerly Distributed/Owned by Shanachie
05 1996 City Sketches I / Welcome to the Games CSI City Sketches (CSI) Records
04 1993 State of Mind CSI Atlantic Jazz
03 1992 Reflections of Love Atlantic Jazz Peaked No. 10 on Contemporary Jazz Album[18] Atlantic Jazz
02 1990 Rejoice Atlantic Jazz Atlantic Jazz
01 1989 A Long Way to Go/The Dream Malaco
* Denotes Remixed project, not Original

Billboard Top 30 Radio Singles (as musician, record producer or composer)[edit]

Song # Year Artist Song Chart Activity Contribution
14 2018 Ragan Whiteside f/ Bob Baldwin ’’See You at the Getdown’’ Peaked at #5 on 2.23.2019 Performer / Co-Producer
13 2018 Ragan Whiteside “Corey’s Bop” Peaked at #1 on 7.21.2018 Co-producer / Co-writer
12 2018 Bob Baldwin f/ Marcus Anderson “Be Blessed (no Stress)” Peaked at #6 on 7.21.2018 Artist / Producer / Arranger / Co-Writer
11 2018 Ragan Whiteside Featuring Kim Waters “Early Arrival” Peaked at #7 on 8.19.2017 Co-producer / Co-writer
10 2017 Bob Baldwin f/ Gabriel Mark Hasselbach “Mobile and Global” Peaked at #28 on 5.27.2017 Artist / Producer / Arranger
09 2017 Gabriel Mark Hasselbach f/ Bob Baldwin “Charmed Life” Peaked at #19 on 1.7.2017 Artist
08 2016 Bob Baldwin “Love’s Light in Flight/Love Trippin” Peaked at #19 on 1.9.2016 Artist / Producer / Arranger
07 2014 Bob Baldwin f/ Ragan Whiteside and Gabriel Mark Hasselbach “Chameleon 3000” Peaked at #8 on 7.19.2014 Artist / Producer / Arranger
06 2014 Bob Baldwin “Seabreeze” Peaked at #5 on 3.15.2014 Artist / Producer / Arranger / Co-Writer
05 2013 Paul Brown f/ Euge Groove “From the Ground Up” Peaked at #19 on 8.10.2013 Co-Writer/Arranger
04 2012 Paul Brown f/ Bob James ‘Backstage Pass” Peaked at #1 on 12.29.2012 Co-Writer/Arranger
03 2018 Bob Baldwin f/ Darren Rahn “For Grover and George” Peaked at #12 on 9.3.2011 Artist / Producer / Arranger / Co-Writer
02 2018 Bob Baldwin “Third Wind” Peaked at #23 on 7.5.2008 Artist / Producer / Arranger
01 2003 Bob Baldwin “The Way She Looked At Me” #9 on the R&R Year-End Chart[19] Artist / Producer / Arranger


  1. ^ "Search Results for "Bob Baldwin"". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Bob Baldwin - Chart history - Billboard". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Ragan Whiteside Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  4. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1 November 1989). "Ebony". Johnson Publishing Company. Retrieved 19 April 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b "Sony Innovators". Ebony. November 1989. p. 29. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Famous Geneva College Alumni". Ranker. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  7. ^ "The Making of a Media Monster © – University Of Alton Maddox". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  8. ^ (20 November 2015). "Former Tama WJSJ to be Sold". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  9. ^ "107.5 WJZZ Atlanta To Change Formats". 28 January 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  10. ^ "NewUrbanJazz Lounge - Jazz Music, Radio, Events, Artists, & Musician Page". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  11. ^ Bob Kappstater. "Bronx spotlight on Vincent Pastore". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Straight Ahead". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  13. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (20 June 1992). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 35. Retrieved 19 April 2019 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ a b c "Bob Baldwin Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  15. ^ "BANKRUPTCIES". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  16. ^ "How to: Get your music on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora and beyond". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Baldwin Piano Welcomes Grammy Nominated Pianist Bob Baldwin to Family of Endorsees". Nashville: Gibson Guitar Corp. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  18. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (20 June 1992). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 April 2019 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ "Radio & Records Smooth Jazz 2003 Year-End Chart". Retrieved 19 April 2019.

External links[edit]