Bob Brozman: 1954-2013



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Guitarist and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman, one of the most internationally prominent musicians to come out of Santa Cruz County, CA, died Wednesday at his home in Ben Lomond. He was 59. The cause of death is pending.

As a young man Bob developed an obsession with 78-rpm recordings of early American music, which led him to his first exposure to Hawaiian and Calypso. He studied ethnomusicology at Washington University in St. Louis, and, while in college, he would often travel throughout the South to play with and learn from jazz and blues musicians from the 1920s and 1930s.

Brozman had built a career as a guitarist and ethnomusicologist, moving from an early fascination with the delta blues of the American south to a consuming passion for the traditional music of Hawaii. He was also one of the world’s leading authorities on the National steel guitar.  Here is a quote from Bob:

“The neuro-biology of playing a musical instrument is completely scientific, but it’s also an absolute miracle, that you’re taking basically a calcium bucket filled with salt-water that’s run by a weak electrical signal, and you’re using it to move your flesh around in order to manipulate an instrument which disturbs air molecules between you and the listener, and then the listener’s ears picks up those disturbed air molecules which generates a weak electrical signal to their calcium bucket full of salt water, and they feel a feeling. That’s miraculous, and that’s where I live,” he said.


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