Robbie began playing piano at the age of 14. He studied classical piano at the Australian National University before shifting his focus to early Jazz. He is fully self taught in Stride having learned directly from the masters by way of piano rolls and original records. His debut solo album, recorded in Wentworth Falls at Underwood Studios, was released at the end of 2019. In addition to his solo work, Robbie has played with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, conducted musicals, performed with comedy, cabaret and burlesque acts whilst regularly working with the finest early jazz musicians around the country.

Robbie specialises in a style of early jazz piano known as ‘Stride’. Stride, in it’s purest form, is a rarely heard idiom and Robbie is one of the very few masters of the style in Australia. While many a pianist may be fine purveyors of the accurate leaping left hand, Stride piano is a much more specific adherence to particular rhythms and mannerisms. For demonstration, one must simply listen to some of the founding masters of the style. The music of James P. Johnson, Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith, Fats Waller and Donald Lambert would constitute an excellent start. While Robbie often fuses his genuine grasp of stride with many other forms of music, to great expressive effect and artistic exploration, the soul of the music remains unmistakably, ‘Stride Piano’.

Stride is especially suited to solo performance due to its emphasis on the ability to mimic an entire rhythm section in the left hand. Robbie regularly performs as a solo artist, including a mix of ragtime, stomps and eccentric arrangements of eclectic melodies amongst established jazz standards.

Robbie also often performs as a Clarinetist in the early jazz and New Orleans style.


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