Robert’s instrument of choice, for those of you who have not yet heard him play, is the steelpan. While the steelpan brings images of calypso to our minds, Robert’s music is anything but that. You can hear two of Ben’s favorites here: Begin the Beguine (link) and La Vie en Rose (link). Go ahead and listen to the tunes, but you’ll want to come back to read the rest of the story.
Robert loves music and cannot imagine doing anything else. He was born into a family full of music: both his grandmothers were music teachers and his mom a pianist. Being immersed into such a world, it’s only natural that he would be playing and performing, progressing from garage bands to more professional groups such as house bands, cabaret shows, and supporting rock and roll bands.
His instrument of choice during the early years of his professional music career was the bass guitar. Robert's love of the steelpan began with a chance encounter while he was out on tour. The band was in the US Virgin Islands, and Robert ran into someone who was playing “everything but calypso” on the steelpan, and Robert was enthralled and inspired. In that moment, his destiny was right there in front of him: fusing the music he loved with his newly adopted instrument and finding his unique sound.
Robert started playing on cruise ships when another steelpan player backed out at the last minute and he got the short notice call. Robert has played on many cruise ships and cruise lines all over the world. As time moved on, his business has morphed into playing for events – weddings, corporate gatherings – and outdoor venues – dining, cruise ports, airports, and malls, and the occasional featured guest such as the 2003 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.