Guitarist Bobby Broom Turns a Page in Life and Music

Howard Reich
Chicago Tribune

The past year was a momentous one for the widely admired Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom.

His first album made up entirely of original compositions, “Upper West Side Story” (Origin Records), won richly deserved critical accolades and considerable airplay, while helping buoy him onto the DownBeat Critics Poll.

In addition, Broom, who had spent much of the past decade touring the globe with tenor saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins, made his belated debut as headliner at the Jazz Showcase and became quite busy at North Park University, teaching a full load of very fortunate guitar students.

In essence, Broom became more deeply rooted than ever in musical Chicago since moving here from his native New York in 1984.

On the other hand, Broom last year lost his 92-year-old father and now finds himself at a kind of crossroads in his life and career.

“That event kind of required that I kind of slow down and take stock of life in a different way,” says Broom, who leads his trio this weekend at the Jazz Showcase in a follow-up to last year’s successful engagement.

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