Now Playing:

Robert Chapman

This week we feature Toronto-based guitarist Robert Chapman, who participated in Jazzology in 2011.

Starting with piano lessons at an early age, he picked up the guitar in his early teens and developed an interest in jazz while teaching at a local music studio in Stoney Creek. He became a member of the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, which provided him with the opportunity to play with some of Hamilton's finest high school and post-secondary musicians at various venues including the Brantford Jazz Festival and Hamilton Place.


After high school, he continued his music studies at Mohawk College in Hamilton, studying with Adrean Farrugia, Pat Collins, and Mike Malone. Following that, he completed his studies in the contemporary music degree program at Humber College.

As an emerging musician on the Toronto music scene, Robert has been teaching regularly and performing with a variety of groups, including the Brad Cheeseman Group. He is in the process of completing his first CD featuring saxophonist Jeff LaRochelle, bassists Pat Collins and Clark Johnston, and drummer Mark Ballyk.

Robert took some time to talk about his experience in the Jazzology program during his final year at Mohawk College and discuss his more recent musical activities:

1) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?

It was a great experience.  Although it was a bit nerve-racking - having never done a full length interview before - it was a lot of fun and a wonderful new experience.  The best part is just being involved with JAZZ.FM91 in any way possible, as it is my favourite radio station. 

2) What is your strongest memory of the Jazzology program? Are there any funny stories or incidents

One of my fondest memories is randomly hearing my interview being re-broadcast months after it originally aired. It was a bit of a surreal moment at the time. 

3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians? Why?

I would definitely recommend doing a Jazzology interview to any musician who gets the opportunity. Not only do you get to do an interview and have your music played, but you also get to pick some of your favourite recordings to be played on air as well.

4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?

Having done a Jazzology interview doesn’t only look good on a resume, but it also prepares you for other experiences down the road. It’s another thing to look back to as inspiration to conquer the next task at hand.

5) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

I couldn’t thank them enough. JAZZ.FM91 does great things for the Toronto music scene as well as young upcoming musicians. By supporting JAZZ.FM91 you are not only supporting a radio station, but a whole community of people who are passionate about music.

6) Why is music education important?

Music education has been an integral part of my development as a musician. Even if you don’t end up being a full-time musician for the rest of your life, learning about music improves all other aspects of life. You can learn a lot about yourself through studying music. 

7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing?

After graduating Mohawk College, I went to Humber College for two more years to get my degree. I’ve been out of school for a year now and have been teaching at various music studios as well as playing at different venues around the Toronto area. One of my favourite groups to play with is the Brad Cheeseman Group. Brad is a wonderful bassist and composer, and this year we had the honour of winning a Hamilton Music Award for Instrumental Album of the Year. 

8) What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?

Right now I’ve been checking out a lot of different trumpet players, especially Clifford Brown. Clifford is an endless resource of inspiration as well as musical information!

9) What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue teaching music lessons at a few different studios as well as playing as many gigs as possible. I also look forward to meeting as many musicians as I can around the Toronto area. There is a seemingly endless supply of wonderful musicians to check out and play with. 

10) How can people learn more about you and your activities?

For updates of where I am playing you can go to -

To hear a few recordings I have done in the past go to -

10) Is there anything else that you want to add?

Thank you to JAZZ.FM91 for granting me the opportunity to be involved with Jazzology.  Please support the station as well as local music.

Jazzology is proudly sponsored by RBC Emerging Artists Project.


About RBC and the Arts
RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Proud to support events and passions that resonate with our clients and all Canadians, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world; and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition, part of our commitment as the Official Bank and major sponsor of the world’s top public film festival – the Toronto International Film Festival®.

Learn More about the RBC Emerging Artists Project


The Jazz Messenger

Sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter, The Jazz Messenger.

Jazz Calendar Login

Forgot your password? Forgot your username?