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Bassist takes classical jamming to the burbs

Rick Robinson, a double-bass player with the Detroit Symphony, likes a good party. So he organises his own in different cafes around town, calling it Classical Revolution Detroit. It seems to work. Watch here. Read more here.


He has lately quit the orch to pursue his passions full time:

As a Detroit Symphony bassist, I loved playing this glorious music for houses full of devoted fans. As a chamber musician I’ve brought many symphonic favs to new audiences. Eventually I began composing music that blends classical well with urban pop styles. I learned to articulate to the curious why I dig classical as well as other music. I’ve resigned from DSO to make a real difference. Check out CutTime at It’s real music for real people.

Rick Robinson

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  1. I’m glad that Rick Robinson is following his artistic vision and his sense of social engagement, but I am also sorry to hear he left the DSO. The orchestra is about 98% white in a city 83% black. Rick was one of the orchestra’s few black musicians. On the other hand, I’m sure he is doing even more good with his new efforts. I wish him very success.

  2. I hope that the trajectory of this musical inspiration will reach the residence of Sixto Rodriguez, the Bob Dylan of mythical fame in South Africa, a man unrecognised in his own country but at last celebrated in the wonderful documentary Searching for Sugarman

  3. I appreciate the plugs Norman and William! I wish I could say Classical Revolution began with me. It actually started in San Fransisco by violist Charith Premawardhana in 2006. His series has grown to some 15 events each month!
    For my part, adapting SYMPHONIC music for the club scene, giving people a TASTE of what happens in the concert hall and why it matters, I believe complements or even balances the traditional experience. Outside, we can experiment quite freely.

    Note, I’m trying to professionalize CRD with a crowd-funding campaign here:

    I will also be attending the APAP, ISPA and CMA conferences in NYC looking to tour with CutTime music.

  4. My brother, Rick is very creative. He is doing some things that have probably never been done; bringing classical music to the burbs, to the hood, to the restaurants, bars, speak-easies (whatever those are), coffee houses, railroad stations, airports, whatever it take to gain new audiences. The harvest is ripe, but the laborer are few. There are a lot of people out there that have not had exposure to classical music, especially live. It can be a great, new experience for them. He has also brought it to homeless people (as I saw in a news story). People see the human side of music when they are entertained live. I wish him the very best as he is making this world a better place one venue at a time. We could even see results where more people will attend symphony orchestra concerts (they need to give him some residuals).

  5. Go motor city! I love it.

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