There was a time when Edmonton media used “to Stroup” as a jazzy verb for going above and beyond the call of duty. For renowned jazz trombonist Bob Stroup it meant being true to his own mantra, “Practice, practice, practice.”
Bob came to Edmonton in 1975 to teach music at Grant MacEwan Community College after a brilliant jazz and big band career in the United States, with such jazz legends as Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Woody Herman.
Bob was first-call commercial and jazz trombonist in Alberta. He played lead trombone with the Tommy Banks Orchestra and as a soloist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He performed in numerous concerts and television shows across Canada and recorded dozens of albums, including the 1981 Juno Award nominated Live in Jazz City and Entre Amis. His trombone mastery is featured in the Genie award winning Canadian film Bye, Bye Blues.
Bob’s greatest legacy for today’s Edmonton music scene is truly measured by the gratitude of the next generation of jazz musicians. As one former student said, “We all have a big part of him in every note we play and every student we interact with. Bob gave us the space and a place to dream and grow as players and to realize we too could just be jazz guys.”
Until his passing in 1996 Bob was “the man” in the Edmonton jazz circuit – a dynamic figure who transfixed the local cultural scene as a world-class musician, composer, arranger, educator, and band leader.
That was his magic.