Guitarist, composer, and arranger Bob DeVos is hailed as “a brilliant, knowing bebop player, a master with a sound to die for--rich, full, deep, positive, round and warm.” With long, blues-drenched melodic lines and a horn-like approach, Bob has a signature style of groove and sophistication. Audiences and critics thrill to his “full, liquid tone," “soulful, intelligent interpretations,” “masterful compositions and arrangements,” and his “infectious, funky groove.” A modern player with strong traditional roots, Bob is at home with straight-ahead jazz, blues, Rhythm & Blues, funk, Latin and more.
Beginning with Breaking the Ice, produced by his great friend Charles Earland, Mr. DeVos’ CDs as a leader for HighNote/Savant and other labels have earned rave reviews and many stars in Downbeat and throughout the jazz media, were high on JazzWeek’s National Airplay Chart for many months, and appeared on many Top Jazz CDs lists. Guest tenor saxophone great Eric Alexander appears on Bob’s Shifting Sands and Playing for Keeps.
Bob’s current CD Shadow Box on American Showplace Records catapulted to the Top Ten Airplay Charts and is enjoying critical acclaim. Tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, a frequent collaborator, joins Bob and his trio.
Since 2005, Mr. DeVos has headed his own modern, powerhouse Bob DeVos Organ Trio with Dan Kostelnik on Hammond B3 organ and Steve Johns on drums. He also works frequently with Eric Alexander, Mike LeDonne and Akiko Tsuruga. In 2005, Bob was the musical director/guitarist for the smashing concert, “An Organ Summit Supreme,” reuniting with organ greats Dr. Lonnie Smith and Trudy Pitts and tenor sax legends David “Fathead” Newman and Houston Person. He is a member of Bill Warfield’s New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra.
Bob studied jazz as a teenager with Harry Leahy and the legendary Dennis Sandole. When Sandole sent his students to replace Pat Martino in the Trudy Pitts and Mr. C Trio, Bob got the gig. He went on to play and record extensively with the legendary Hammond B3 organ groups: Richard "Groove" Holmes-Sonny Stitt, Jimmy McGriff-Hank Crawford, and especially Charles "The Mighty Burner" Earland’s last group with Eric Alexander and Jim Rotondi, then later with the modern B3 players including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, and Mike LeDonne among others.
Bob deepened his compositional and harmonic skills playing with Gerry Niewood’s “Timepiece” with Dave Samuels (1980s) and as part of the forward-thinking Ron McClure Quartet (2000s). He also studied classical composition with Edgar Grana (1990s), and was the 1996 NJ Council of the Arts Grant recipient for composition.
An in-demand player, Bob has a far-reaching discography as a sideman, including over 100 studio recordings. He has a strong following for his innovative work with a who’s who of jazz greats both in and outside of the Hammond B3 organ genre: A short list includes Pepper Adams, Don Friedman, Billy Hart, Hendrik Meurkens, Etta Jones, Jack MacDuff, Pat Martino, Irene Reid, Stanley Turrentine, and many, many more. As a young musician he played with “Screamin’ Jay Hawkins & recorded for Frank Sinatra.
In recent years, Bob has performed at the Kennedy Center, The Kimmel Center, The NJ State Theater, The Blue Note, Iridium, The Jazz Bakery, The Kitano, SMOKE, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, the Smithsonian, San Diego Art Museum, Birdland, Jazz Mobile, Smalls and numerous festivals in the US and worldwide, including JVC Jazz Festivals and The San Francisco Jazz Festival
Mr. DeVos is currently on the music faculty at Lehigh University and teaches privately. An innovative and sensitive teacher, he has done extensive work in jazz clinics worldwide, and has also taught at William Paterson University and is a past artist-in-residence at Newark, NJ’s prestigious Arts High.