Guitarist and composer Robert Campbell moved to Chicago in 2010 from Arkansas, where he first learned to love all music rooted in groove and improvisation from his organist father and singer mother. His favorite performance to date was playing a packed gymnasium at a women’s prison with his family’s R&B band — talk about a captive audience that couldn’t wait to bust loose! While still in AR, he was tutored in music theory and composition by Philip Schroeder, bassist and modern classical/ambient composer. Robert received his first commission for The Lost Year, a film about the little-known story of what happened in Little Rock after the infamous 1957 integration of Central High.
After coming to the best city in the world, Robert founded Holy Barbarians, a jazz collective dedicated to exploring the balance of order and chaos in improvised music. He has continued his love of composition in his trio, RC3, and as a founding member of Jazzsquatch, a funk outfit dedicated to the mighty Hammond organ! He has become a go-to guitar man for the city’s musical theatre community, working for and with Underscore Theatre, Refuge Theatre, Windy City Music Theatre, and various cabarets. In 2015 he was made an Artistic Associate of Underscore Theatre Company. He cites Charles Mingus, Grant Green, and The Blues Brothers as influences, but his favorite Chicago guitarist is Andy Brown.