Tucson Native Comes Back to Perform at The Rialto
ROBBIE LEE, PIANIST, was born and raised in Tucson, began playing alto saxophone at age 12, later switching to piano. Soon after, he joined the Tucson Jazz Institute, a community music program dedicated to giving students opportunities to play and develop meaningful relationships through music. With TJI he was given a firm grounding in the traditional forms of jazz from traditional to post-bop and was encouraged to develop his own voice and keep an open mind. By age 14, Robbie had begun performing at various venues on a weekly basis. In both 2010 and 2014 he was given opportunities to tour and play at numerous jazz festivals in Europe with TJI including Jazz a Vienne and the Umbria and Montreux jazz festival. Throughout high school, Lee was given awards for performance and composition by YoungArts, DownBeat, The Next Generation Jazz Festival and the Essentially Ellington Competition. These awards include Outstanding Tripler and the Ella Fitzgerald outstanding soloist award presented by Wynton Marsalis at the Essentially Ellington Festival. In 2015 Downbeat magazine awarded him Outstanding Composition for Large Ensemble as part of the 38th Student Music Awards. He has had the honor of playing with Brice Winston, Charles McPherson, Ray Drummond, Candido Camero, and Jimmy Heath. Robbie currently studies at the Manhattan School of Music, in his final year of the undergraduate program.
For the full lineup of The Tucson Jazz Festival: