Staten Island's Ambassador of Jazz
Robert Kaiser was born in Port Richmond, attended P.S. 20, and graduated from McKee High School.
He then worked for Western Union. It was during this time that he first learned to play the clarinet. He was introduced to jazz by two of New York's finest jazz musicians: Don Joseph and Caesar DiMauro. Upon being drafted into the U.S. Army he was assigned to the 328th U.S. Army band in Texas. There he met some of the musicians who would become his closest and most inspirational musical friends.
In 1971 Bob moved to California where he attended Santa Monica College, where he received an Associates Degree in music. He also studied with many fine studio musicians while there.
Bob returned to NY in 1977 and joined Odyssey, one of the top night club bands of that era. In 1986 he became a NYC Bus Operator. He retired after 22 years with the M.T.A.
Shortly after retiring, Bob followed his son Kris Kaiser's advice and returned to the musical spotlight. They have often performed at many New York City venues such as Adobe Blues, the Bayou, and Killmeyer's, to name a few. In 2013 Bob was presented with the "Blues Hall of Fame" award, which was something he was greatly proud of and thankful for.
Bob enjoyed every moment of his musical journey. He continued to play and teach with the same energy and enthusiasm as when he was a young man. Whatever journey Bob was on he always wanted to take his family and friends along.
Surviving are his wife of 40 years, Mary, his son, Kris, a grandson, Keith, and his brother-in-law, Bill Higgins.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Robert's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
would be appreciated.
Visitation is at the Matthew Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 2508 Victory Boulevard, on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Matthew Funeral Home, Inc.
2508 Victory Blvd.
at Willowbrook Road
Staten Island, N.Y. 10314
Published by Staten Island Advance on Nov. 7, 2019.