Bob Masteller, a 1960 graduate of Hobart College, will be the featured performer and speaker at a series of jazz events to be held on the Hobart and William Smith campus during the weekend of Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
A native of Waverly, N.Y., Masteller began playing jazz in his father’s band at the age of 12, a musical tradition he has maintained for more than five decades. In 1956, Masteller entered Hobart College, where he led a series of jazz groups during the late 1950s. Following his graduation from Hobart in 1960, he worked as a human resources professional in the Syracuse area, where he also played jazz and led a dance band until 1973, when he moved to Hilton Head, S.C., to become vice president of human resources for Sea Pines Plantation.
In Hilton Head Masteller has maintained his deep interest in jazz by playing trumpet, valve trombone, and vibraphone and leading his own groups in clubs throughout the “Low Country” of South Carolina and Georgia. Among the dignitaries for whom he has performed are Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and the senior senator from South Carolina, Fritz Hollings. Masteller now is the co-owner of The Jazz Corner, a club in Hilton Head that is now known as one of the leading jazz venues in the United States, featuring performances by such noted artists as George Shearing, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Terry Gibbs.
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, Masteller and his group, which also will feature fellow Hobart alumnus Al Scheeren, will present a two-hour concert of jazz classics such as “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” “Perdido,” “Bye Bye Blues,” and “Indiana.” The performance will take place in St. John’s Chapel on the Hobart and William Smith campus. At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, Masteller will present an hour-long seminar on the history of jazz followed by another concert by the Masteller jazz ensemble, also in St. John’s Chapel.
Sponsored by the President’s Office at Hobart and William Smith and by the Hobart Office of Alumni Relations, all events are open to the public at no charge.
Masteller and Sheeren were featured in the Jan. 26 Geneva Finger Lakes Times story “Hobart grad set for jazz show”. Masteller, Sheeren, and Morey were each featured separately in the Jan. 30 Canandaigua Daily Messenger.