Robby Ameen (born December 7, 1960) is an American drummer, composer, bandleader, and educator who resides in New York City. Although he is of Lebanese origin, Ameen is best known for the unique and powerful Afro-Cuban style he has created. He is regard...
Robby Ameen (born December 7, 1960) is an American drummer, composer, bandleader, and educator who resides in New York City. Although he is of Lebanese origin, Ameen is best known for the unique and powerful Afro-Cuban style he has created. He is regarded as one of the world's most prominent drummers in the area of Latin Jazz.
In 1985 he became a member of Ruben Blades' Seis del Solar band. Other long-term band memberships include Dave Valentin, Conrad Herwig's "Latin Side of... All Stars", Kip Hanrahan, and Jack Bruce and the Cuicoland Express. In 2011 he won a Latin Grammy for best Salsa record with Ruben Blades and Seis del Solar, "Todos Vuelven Live, Vol. 1 and 2." As a sideman he has recorded on other Grammy winning records including Ruben Blades and Seis del Solar's "Escenas" and Brian Lynch's "Simpatico". In 2012, Ameen was the subject of an episode of the Emmy Award-winning Detroit Public Television series "Arab American Stories".
Early life and education
Ameen was born in 1960 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Studied drum set with Ed Blackwell and classical percussion with Fred Hinger.
BA Literature, Yale College 1982
As a sideman, Ameen has recorded extensively with such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmieri, Paul Simon, Jack Bruce, Kip Hanrahan, Conrad Herwig, Carly Simon, Mongo Santamaria, Hilton Ruiz, Kirsty MacColl, and many others. As a session musician Ameen has recorded numerous jingles, film scores, and TV music, including the popular HBO series Sex and the City.
As an educator, Ameen is the co-author with bassist Lincoln Goines of the best-selling instructional book "Funkifying the Clave: Afro-Cuban drums for Bass and Drums" (Alfred Music). He is an international cilinician and percussion/drum festival participant, including the Modern Drummer Festival and PASIC. He is currently on the faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
As a leader
Robby Ameen Days in the Life (2009) Two and Four Records
As a co-leader
Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez and Robby Ameen Robby and Negro at the Third World War (2006) American Clave/Enja
El Negro and Robby Onto the Street (2003) EWE
El Negro and Robby Band Live at Umbria Jazz (2004) Il Manifesto
Seis del Solar Decision (1992) Messidor
Seis del Solar Alternate Roots (1995) Messidor
Overproof Three Guys Walk into a Bar (2004) EWE
As a sideman (selected)
Dizzy Gillespie New Faces (1984) GRP
Ruben Blades Ruben Blades y Son del Solar...Live! (1990) Elektra-Asylum
Dave Valentin Live at the Blue Note (1988) GRP
Paul Simon Songs from the Capeman (1997) Warner Bros. Records
Eddie Palmieri Palmas (1994) Nonesuch
Conrad Herwig The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (2010) Half Note
Kip Hanrahan Tenderness (1990) American Clave
Steve Swallow Swallow (1991) ECM
Jack Bruce More Jack Than God (2003) Sanctuary
Discography on All Music
Credits on All Music
Modern Drummer April '94, January 2004, January 2010,
DrumHead issue #22
Downbeat March 2010