Robert “Bobby” Hutcherson was born on January 27, 1941, and died on August 15, 2016.
He was an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player.
Most notable for “Little B’s Poem”, from the album Components, is one of his best-known compositions.
He had influenced younger vibraphonists including Steve Nelson, Joe Locke, and Stefon Harris.
Hutcherson was exposed to jazz by his brother Teddy, who listened to Art Blakey records in the family home with his friend Dexter Gordon. His older sister Peggy was a singer in Gerald Wilson’s orchestra.
He went on to record on a number of Gerald Wilson’s Pacific Jazz recordings as well as play in his orchestra.
His sister personally introduced Hutcherson to Eric Dolphy (her boyfriend at the time) and Billy Mitchell.
Bobby was inspired to take up the vibraphone when he heard Milt Jackson play “Bemsha Swing” on the Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants album at the age of 12.
When he was still in his teens, Hutcherson started his professional career in the late fifties working with tenor saxophonist Curtis Amy and trumpeter Carmell Jones, as well as with Dolphy and tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd at Pandora’s Box on the Sunset Strip.
Bobby made his recording debut on August 3, 1960, cutting two songs for a 7-inch single with the Les McCann trio for Pacific Jazz (released in 1961), followed by the LP Groovin’ Blue with the Curtis Amy-Frank Butler sextet on December 10 (also released by Pacific Jazz in 1961).
His short acting career included an appearance as the bandleader in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), and as Ace in Round Midnight (1986).
Beth Buford was his wife they had a son together.
Then, he married Rosemary Zuniga, the too had a son.
Bobby Hutcherson passed away at 75 years old.