|Robert Crawford began playing drums at the age fifteen in Akron, Ohio. At which time began studying with famed Akron drummer Bill Roth. He also joined his high school band where, along with playing with various rock bands, he spent his high school career. Following high school Robert spent a number of years playing and recording with a variety of local alternative and funk bands. These bands played throughout Akron and Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Dallas and Miami.
In 1996 Robert developed an interest in Jazz. He studied Jazz drummers and history and the following year moved to Cleveland. At which time he enrolled in the Jazz Studies Program at Cuyahoga County Community College led by Cleveland Saxophonist Ernie Krivda. The experience proved to be most helpful and inspiring, because during his time at Tri-C Robert was fortunate enough to perform with Jazz heavy weights such as Bill Dobbins, Rufus Reid, James Newton, Marcus Belgrave and Donald Waldon.
After his stay at Tri-C Robert studied with Jazz drummer Greg Bandy (Pharaoh Sanders, Gary Bartz). And began to do a lot of freelance work around Cleveland, getting the chance to play with nationally renown Jazz players like Dave Morgan, Dan Wall (John Abercrombie), Eddie Baccus Jr. (Pieces of a Dream) and Eddie Baccus Sr. (Roland Kirk). Robert also spent much of that time playing with many other local Jazz players as well as occasionally putting together his own groups. The following year Robert got the opportunity to play with blues legend Robert Lockwood Jr. at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas. He also spent that year and the next playing mostly with his own groups consisting of Josh Yellon on saxophone and Gary Hoopengardner on bass and Mike Murray on piano.
The year beginning of the year 2000 had Robert busy writing and arranging songs for his first C.D. release ‘HOW MUCH’ that he recorded in April. The C.D. features saxophonist extraordinaire Gary Bartz (Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner). The summer had Robert equally as busy with his own quartet that headlined the Crooked River Jazz and Blues Festival, and opening slots for Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Spyro Gyra and Maceo Parker.
Robert will remain busy throughout the fall as he has begun studying with Jazz drummer Billy Hart . And prepares for his move to Chicago as looks to further his love, appreciation and success for Jazz music.