Photo by Andy Goodwin
Bob Lark is recognized regionally, nationally and internationally as a contemporary jazz
educator and performer of integrity. His approach to pedagogy and rehearsal techniques
has been noted by participation in professional conferences; publication of articles;
compact disc recordings as both a performer and ensemble director; and the direction of
numerous student honors ensembles. Down Beat magazine recognized Bob’s work in
2010 with their Jazz Education Achievement Award.
As a performer, Bob is a trumpet and flugelhorn player whose performances are
especially notable for his lyrical style and fine tone. His harmonically oriented
improvisations shift between aggressive and cool playing. In speaking of Lark, jazz icon
Clark Terry stated: “He’s a very good trumpet player, a very good musician. He’s paid his
Two compact disc recordings by Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band – Sweet Return
(Jazzed Media JM1068), and Reunion (Jazzed Media JM1057) – have received fantastic
reviews by print and electronic media. Recently released on the Jazzed Media label is the
critically acclaimed compact disc recording Sweet Return (Jazzed Media JM1068), by Bob
Lark and his Alumni Big Band. This follows the success of a series of recordings on the
Jazzed Media label, including those by The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet, and Bob Lark
and Friends, with Phil Woods, Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely and Mark Colby. Bob’s playing
and writing are also featured on the CD recordings Until You and First Steps on the
He is an exclusive Yamaha Performing Artist.
In 2013, DePaul University honored Bob Lark as an ambassador for the DePaul
Distinctions campaign. He serves as a Professor of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in
Chicago, Illinois, where he directs the university Jazz Ensemble and The Phil Woods
Ensemble, teaches jazz trumpet and courses in jazz pedagogy, jazz history and jazz style.
Under his direction the DePaul Jazz Ensemble has produced several Outstanding
Performance Awards from the Jazz Educators Journal, Down Beat and Jazz Times
magazines, and has recorded albums with legendary jazz artists Phil Woods, Clark Terry,
Louie Bellson, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Jeff Hamilton, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell,
Ira Sullivan, Bobby Shew, Mark Colby, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra members
Charles Vernon and John Bruce Yeh.
Bob is an active clinician, soloist and guest conductor. He has served as host for the
Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, is the past-president of the
Illinois Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, and has chaired the
International Trumpet Guild jazz improvisation competition. Throughout the 1990’s, Bob
directed the Midwest GRAMMY High School Jazz Band.
Prior to his appointment to DePaul University, he was an Assistant Professor of Music at
Emporia State University, Kansas. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in
performance from the University of North Texas, having earlier earned a Master of Music
Education degree from that school, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The
Ohio State University.
"He's a very good trumpet player, a very good
He's paid his dues."
- Clark Terry
"Lark's soloing is art. It is clear, distinctive, and as
he lays it in the groove, listeners will discover that
his musical language is well understood."
- Paula Edelstein, All Music
"Lark creates singing lines which reverberate with
his personality and his ability to embody the
emotions of each piece. The result is expert, fully
accomplished, satisfying jazz."
The personnel for Bob Lark and his Alumni Big
Band includes distinguished performers,
composers and arrangers of jazz music drawn from
the university jazz ensembles that Bob has directed
over the past thirty years.
Two compact disc recordings by Bob Lark and his
Alumni Big Band - Sweet Return (Jazzed Media
JM1068) and Reunion (Jazzed Media JM1057) -
have received fantastic reviews by print and
The band was a featured performing group in 2016
at The Midwest Clinic (an annual international
music conference held in Chicago); the 2017
Evanston Township Jazz Festival; the 2017 Jazz
Jamboree, Arlington Heights, IL; the 2014
Northshore Jazz Festival; the 2014 Mundelein
Invitational Jazz Festival; the 2013 Jazz In The
Meadows festival; the 2012 Jazz Education Network
International Conference; and regularly performs at
Chicago’s Jazz Showcase and area high schools.
Bob serves as a Professor of Jazz Studies at
DePaul University in Chicago, and is a Jazzed
Media recording artist and a YAMAHA Performing