Jazz pianist (& vocalist), Robin Connell, the Artprize 2016 jazz music award recipient, was also the West Michigan Jazz Society’s pick for 2017 Musician of the Year. She performs regularly as bandleader or side-woman at concerts and clubs with bandleaders Randy Marsh, Kevin Jones, Jim Cooper, and others. The Robin Connell Jazz Trio, with bassist, Rob Hartman, and drummer, Keith Hall, is the ‘House Trio’ at Grand Rapids new music venue, the Listening Room, where they welcome a different guest musician to the stage each month.
She and husband, Paul Brewer (trombone/vocal) frequently appear as duo, or with their quartet, performing their original arrangements of time honored jazz standards. And Jazz in the Sanctuary at Fountain Street Church, which she has hosted since the concert series began in 2014, is another current endeavor.
Enthusiastic about jazz education, Robin’s teaching credits include twenty summers as jazz faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She currently teaches jazz studies at Aquinas College, and co-directs the St Cecilia Youth Jazz Ensembles, Robin was a presenter at the 2020 Jazz Education Network conference in New Orleans and her resume includes a long list of stints as guest artist/clinician/adjudicator and K-12 school performances.
With a Doctorate of Arts in Music Composition [University of Northern Colorado], and composer of many instrumental works, Robin is the winner of multiple arts grants at the national and state levels. Her several commissions include Derailed, a work for the 1998 Massachusetts All-State jazz band, for which she was also the conductor. The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra regularly performs her pieces, with Hip Hop Gidget, included on their recording, Jazz on Tap.