After 30 years in NYC, Wayne Roberts now resides in Western Massachusetts.

He is currently Visiting Lecturer at Westfield State University: History of Jazz and private bass lesson.

Wayne also directs Duke Ellington Youth and Adult Jazz Workshop at Westfield State University where student have the opportunity to rehearse and perform his transcriptions from the vast collection of recordings of Duke's 50 year music legacy.

In 2015, Wayne was a member of the faculty for “Jazz in July” at UMass Amherst. 

Among the most notable musicians Wayne has worked with are Kirk Lightsey, Hal Galper, Howard Alden, Vic Juris, Jack Wilkins, Joe Cohn, Ken Peplowski, Walt Weiskopf, Dave Liebman, Bill Mays, Harry Allen, Warren Vache, John Beasley, Billy Childs, Atilla Zoller, Chuck Wayne and Jaki Byard.

Wayne Roberts was born in Los Angeles, CA. At the age of 7,
he studied piano, guitar and voice. At 14, he took up the trombone and a year later, the electric bass. He studied the electric bass with Herb Mickman.

At age 19, he took up the double bass and studied privately with Sue Ranney, principal bassist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Soon after, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music studying with Lawrence Wolfe of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and received a Bachelors Degree.

In 1980, he attended the Juilliard School where he studied with David Walter and later with Eugene Levinson, former principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic and received a Masters Degree.

In the late 80's, he led his own trio with John Colianni and Eliot Zigmund, and co-lead Grant/Roberts New-Bop with Darrell Grant that featured Ralph Moore, Monty Croft and Gene Jackson.

In 1994, he spent much of his time touring in Europe and lived in Berlin, working as sideman and leader and bassist for Hungarian guitarist, Fenenc Snetberger.

In 1998, Wayne returned to NYC and formed the Wayne Roberts Sextet, featuring the music of the John Kirby Sextet (1937-43). He transcribed 55 instrumental arrangements and received worldwide acclaim, recreating John Kirby's trademark style of "little big band" jazz.

photo by Bob  LeClair


private online lessons

john kirby project

sextet press kit

   audio samples




Duke Ellington
Jazz Workshops at
Westfield State University

© 2013, Wayne Roberts