Robert Aaron

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Robert Aaron
Birth nameRobert Arron Vineberg[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Also known asRobert Arron (prior to October 1993)[7][2][3][8]
Born (1955-11-13) November 13, 1955 (age 67)[9][10][11][12]
Instrument(s)flute, saxophone, clarinet, piano, guitar, trumpet, bassoon, french horn
LabelsHeavenly Sweetness[13]

Robert Aaron (born Robert Arron Vineberg; November 13, 1955) is a Canadian jazz musician.[14] According to John Leland of the New York Times "Mr. Aaron played flute, saxophone, clarinet and piano, then taught himself guitar, trumpet, bassoon, French horn and other instruments."[15] He performed for rapper Wyclef Jean's band from 1998 to 2008.[14] Robin Caulden of Press-Republican said "He's played with everybody — Afrika Bambataa, B52s, Blondie, Chic, David Bowie, Heavy D, James Chance and The Contortions, RZA, Stetsasonic, William Vivanco and Wu-Tang Clan."[16]

In 1981, he first started work with James Chance for the group James White and the Blacks; and has toured with him since in Europe and Japan.[15] He played sax on David Bowie's 1983 hit "Let's Dance".[13][17] In 2010, Aaron released his album Trouble Man,[14] which Michael Daly of the Daily Beast called "artistically adventurous but commercially unsuccessful".[18] Folk singer Eric Andersen, who used Aaron on several albums as a producer and performer, said "He is telepathic as a musician. He was completely dedicated and loyal to the job. Absolutely dedicated. He lived for his art. He personifies a cool that transcends the hot temperaments."[15]

Early life[edit]

Aaron was born in Montreal in 1955.[19][9][12] He was discouraged from pursuing music as a career by his father, who taught piano.[15] However, as a teenager in the 1970s, he decided to move to New York to perform and record with his band.[15][20]

Philip Seymour Hoffman Death[edit]

Aaron was arrested in February of 2014 for suspicion of selling the heroin that caused the overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. [21] Ultimately, prosecutors dropped the most serious charge, which was intent to sell heroin. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony drug possession, and was sentenced to five years’ probation. [22]

Notable credits[edit]

Credits according to AllMusic:[23]

Year Album Artist Credit
1982 The Hunter Blondie Horn Arrangements, Saxophone
1982 Sax Maniac James White and The Blacks Drums, Percussion, Piano, Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
1983 Let's Dance David Bowie Flute, Tenor (Vocal)
1983 James White's Flaming Demonics James Chance Member of Attributed Artist, Sax (Tenor)
1986 L Is for Lover Al Jarreau Musician, Reeds
1988 In Full Gear Stetsasonic Saxophone
1990 Changesbowie David Bowie Flute, Sax (Tenor)
1992 Nubian M.O.B. Nubian M.O.B. Bass, Flute, Guitar, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Programming, Saxophone
1993 The Album Masters at Work Keyboards, Saxophone
1995 Run Away Robert Aaron Primary Artist
1996 Sax in the Ozone Robert Aaron Primary Artist
1997 Nightbird Inventions Dominic Duval Tray Card
1998 Memory of the Future Eric Andersen Composer, Flute, Keyboard Bass, Keyboards, Organ (Hammond), producer, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Trumpet
1999 No Exit Blondie Additional Personnel, Flute, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
1999 Electric Honey Luscious Jackson Flute, Horn
2000 You Can't Relive the Past Eric Andersen Clarinet, Flute, Piano
2000 Fear of Flying Mýa Horn
2000 It Doesn't Matter Wyclef Jean Horn
2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book Wyclef Jean Horn
2001 Goddess in the Doorway Mick Jagger Flute, Horn, Keyboards
2002 Mr. Jones Tom Jones Horn Arrangements, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
2002 Masquerade Wyclef Jean Keyboards, Saxophone
2003 Frank Amy Winehouse Flute, Saxophone
2003 Beat Avenue Eric Andersen Bass, Bass (Electric), composer, Flute, Guitar, Keyboards, Melodica, Mixing, Organ, Piano, producer, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Trumpet
2003 Live and Kickin' Willie Nelson Keyboards
2003 Greatest Hits Wyclef Jean Horn
2003 The Preacher's Son Wyclef Jean Flute, Guitar, Melodica, Piano, Saxophone
2004 The Street Was Always There Eric Andersen Arranger, Audio Production, Bass, Clarinet, composer, Cuatro, Editing, Flute, Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Liner Notes, Main Personnel, Melodica, Organ, Piano, producer, Saxophone, Synthesizer
2004 Self Explanatory I-20 Keyboards
2004 Same Girl Trina Broussard Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone
2004 Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101 Wyclef Jean Keyboards, Saxophone
2005 Waves Eric Andersen Arranger, Bass, Congas, Fender Rhodes, Flute, Guitar (Acoustic), Melodica, Oboe, Organ, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Piccolo, producer, Quatro, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
2005 Odyssey Fischerspooner Flute
2006 Bole2Harlem, Vol. 1 Bole2Harlem Horn
2007 City Beach Jill Cunniff Saxophone, Wurlitzer
2009 Entertainment Fischerspooner Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Trumpet (Pocket)
2010 Stolen Car Certain General Saxophone
2010 The Saddest Kiss Robert Aaron Primary Artist
2010 Trouble Man Robert Aaron Primary Artist
2010 Zaz Zaz Cuivres
2010 Like a Radio Charles Schillings Additional Production, Keyboards, Saxophone
2010 Twist Your Soul: The Definitive Collection James Chance Organ, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)


  1. ^ "Robert Aaron". Discogs. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Audio search results for "Robert Arron". WorldCat. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Audio search results for "Robert Arron". Internet Archive. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  4. ^ "City Lights Guide: Rock/Pop Plus". New York Daily News. May 28, 1989. p. 146. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  5. ^ "Arts and Leisure Guide. Pop, Rock, Folk: In the Clubs.". The New York Times. May 7, 1989. p. H46. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Staff (January 18, 1993). Goings On About Town; Above and Beyond: Readings. The New Yorker. p. 22. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  7. ^ "Robert Arron: Credits". All Music Guide. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  8. ^ Flick, Larry (October 9, 1993). "An Educational Alliance; Where Is 'What Is Love'?". Billboard. p. 32. ProQuest 1506016784. Jazz saxophonist Robert Aaron brings his sweet, fluid tones into deep-house territory on 'Sax in the Ozone' (EightBall, New York), a breezy, R&B-inflected gem..
  9. ^ a b Leland, John (August 29, 2014). "Drug-Selling Charges Dropped Against Man Arrested in Philip Seymour Hoffman Case". The New York Times. p. A18. ProQuest 1943309241. Born in Montreal, Mr. Aaron, 58, faced both prison time and possible deportation if he was convicted of selling drugs, a Class B felony.
  10. ^ Associated Press (August 29, 2014). "Hoffman pal pleads guilty to drug charge". Toronto Star. p. E7. ProQuest 2032070333. A conviction could have resulted in jail time for the 58-year-old jazz musician from Canada and his possible deportation.
  11. ^ Ross, Barbara (August 29, 2014). "No Jail for Hoffman's Druggie Jazzman Pal". New York Daily News. p. 12. "Robert Vineberg, 58, copped to a low-level possession charge." Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Misc. Facebook Birthday Salutes to Robert Aaron. Mediafire. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Cross, Alan (February 6, 2014). "A Weird Canadian Musical Connection to the Death of Phillip (sic) Seymour Hoffman". A Journal of Musical Things. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d Levitz, Eric (February 5, 2014). "Robert Vineberg Arrested in Connection with PSH Death". Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d e Leland, John (April 11, 2014). "An Addict With Friends". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  16. ^ Caudell, Robin (May 3, 2012). "New York's 'best-kept secret' playing tonight in Plattsburgh". Press-Republican. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  17. ^ Adams, James (February 5, 2014). "Probe of Hoffman's death catches a Canadian 'musical visionary'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  18. ^ Daly, Michael (February 7, 2014). "A Sax Player, Then a Suspect After Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Act". Daily Beast. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  19. ^ Tcholakian, Danielle (August 29, 2014). "DA Drops Drug Dealing Charges Against Philip Seymour Hoffman's Friend". DNA Info. Retrieved September 20, 2022. Robert Vineberg, 58, was charged with selling drugs after police raided his apartment in February.
  20. ^ Vultaggio, Maria (February 5, 2014). "Who Is Robert (Aaron) Vineberg? 4 Arrested Related To Philip Seymour Hoffman's Apparent Heroin Overdose". International Business Times. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  21. ^ Leland, John (April 11, 2014). "'An Addict With Friends'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "He Who Would Defend Shmurda". June 9, 2016.
  23. ^ "Robert Aaron". AllMusic. Retrieved May 7, 2014.

External links[edit]