“A prime mover in the current Brooklyn jazz scene” (Time Out-New York) and "one of New York’s great jazz drummers and composers.” (Capital New York), Rob Garcia continues to be an strong presence in the New York and international jazz scene as a sideman and bandleader. He has performed and/or recorded with bandleaders such as Wynton Marsalis, Joseph Jarman, Anat Cohen, Sam Newsome, Judi Silvano, Woody Allen, Howard Alden, Lynne Arriale, Brad Shepik, John Benitez, John Bunch, Dena DeRose, Chris Cheek, Daniel Kelly, and Vince Giordano. Rob has also collaborated with other top musicians such as: Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Diana Krall, Myra Melford, Dave Binney, Ben Monder, Donny McCaslin, Marty Erhlich, Mark Helias, Jerome Richardson, Reggie Workman, Bob Berg, Dave Kikoski, Mike Formanek, Bill McHenry, Gary Versace, Loren Stillman, John Hebert, Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Howard Johnson, Sonny Fortune, Bruce Barth, Wycliffe Gordon, Warren Vache, Ted Nash, and Chris Potter, among others. He has played on over 40 albums including Grammy winners.
Rob has released 5 critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader. The most recent three are by his working group, the Rob Garcia 4, on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. His CD, “Perennial” (BJUR 012) was in the “10 Best Jazz Albums of 2009” in the New York Observer. His group has performed at venues such as The Ottawa Jazz Festival, Iridium, Kitano, Smalls, The Rex, Cornelia Street Cafe and Firehouse 12. Rob has also received grants from Meet The Composer, DCA and NYSCA to support his performances.
Artist-run organizations are a new and successful trend in the jazz world, and Rob has been a major force in this new way for jazz to continue and thrive. He is the founder and executive director of an artist-run, non-profit organization called Connection Works, which presents world-class jazz performances and educational events to the Brooklyn community. He is a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, an association of independent artists with a shared commitment to creativity and community. He was also a founding member of the Douglass Street Music Collective, an artist-run rehearsal and performance space, featuring some of New York’s most creative and cutting edge musicians/composers.
Rob grew up in Pelham, New York, hearing jazz and popular music from the 1920's and 30's. His father, an architect who also played bass, had a collection of 78rpm records from that period including such greats as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Bix Beiderbecke. In his early teens, Rob loved classic rock. It was Keith Moon of The Who that inspired him to begin playing the drums. He began studying with Bob Merigliano, and through his influence as well as visiting New York City jazz clubs with his father, Rob's interest turned toward jazz. He then went on to study with some other outstanding drummers such as Charli Persip, Steve Davis, and Adam Nussbaum. Rob holds a BA from NYU and a MM from SUNY Purchase.
Rob has also put his focus and energies toward spirituality and holistic healing. He graduated from the IM School of Healing Arts, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is a non-denominational ordained minister.