Robert Muller

pianist • keyboardist • composer • improviser

about

Robert Muller is an in-demand pianist and keyboardist based in Santa Fe, NM, known for a distinctly modern and soulful musical approach informed as much by classic bebop as by Brian Eno and 80s pop. He’s the recipient of the 2024 New Mexico Music Award’s Eric Larson Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in live music and the studio. #NMMA

He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where he studied closely with Blue Note jazz great Dr. Andrew Hill at Portland State University. He performed extensively on the West Coast doing everything from local jazz gigs to touring with a Shriner’s Circus in British Columbia to working as a sideman with Iranian pop stars.

He moved to New York City in the mid 90s and became active in the downtown music scene with his own trio Timefly and as a sideman for several original acts. Robert appeared on MTV2 with underground hip-hop artist Pete Miser and performed at venues like SOB’s, The Knitting Factory, The Blue Note, Mercury Lounge, and Studio 54.

After moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico some eleven years later, he quickly started to do studio work and performances with Grammy-winning guitarist Larry Mitchell for several award-winning artists, including NAMMY-winning singer and songwriter Shelley Morningsong.

He co-leads the modern jazz project Kodama Trio, whose eponymous debut album received 2016 New Mexico Music Awards for Best Jazz CD and Best Jazz Single. He records and performs with Ryan Montano, most recently on the 2023 single Future Smooth, and appears with New Mexico artists like Hillary Smith, Artha Meadors, Rodney Bowe, David Turner, and Ron Crowder. In 2023 he joined the Delbert Anderson Quartet as their first-ever pianist. 

Robert has also been a regular sideman and collaborator with Mvskoke poet/author/musician Joy Harjo in venues and festivals as far-flung as Anchorage, Alaska, and the Public Theater in New York City. In 2019, Robert was honored to appear with her at her inauguration as the 23rd US Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress. Video of the event can be found on the Library of Congress’s YouTube Channel.

He uses gear from companies including Nord, Kawai Pianos, Yamaha, Moog, Korg, Roland, Ultimate Support Systems, Bose, Apple, Focusrite, Nektar, Event Audio, QuikLok and Ultimate Ears.

May 24-26 (sold out)
Delbert Anderson Quartet
Amangiri
Canyon Point, UT

May 27, 7pm
Delbert Anderson Quartet
Boulder, UT

May 31, 8-11pm
Rodney Bowe Experience
Bien Shur Restaurant/Sandia Casino
Albuquerque, NM

June 1, 8-11pm
Rodney Bowe Experience
Bien Shur Restaurant/Sandia Casino
Albuquerque, NM

June 7, 6pm
Delbert Anderson Quartet
Jazz in the Gardens
National Art Gallery
Washington, DC



some of the people and groups I have worked with:

performances

Larry Mitchell
Nathan East
Emerson Corley/Entourage Jazz
Robert Mirabal
Joy Harjo
Steve Morse
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter
Shelly Morningsong
Hillary Smith
Steve Lacy
Jane Ira Bloom
Grady Champion
James East
Hiram Bullock
Dave Liebman
Roberto “Fats” Fernandez
Greg Phillinganes
Delbert Anderson
Maria Christensen
Leroy Vinegar
Eric Udell

recordings

Ryan Montaño
Joy Harjo
Jenny Georing
Kanoa Kaluhiwa
Larry Mitchell
Entourage Jazz
Joe “Daddy” Warner
Shelly Morningsong
Kodama Trio
Ron Crowder
Timefly
Hillary Smith and Chillhouse
Christian Pincock
Brendan & the Extenuating Circumstances
Delbert Anderson/Delbert Anderson Quartet
Pete Miser
Dimi DiSanti


reviews

Despite the obviously cooperative nature of the trio, Muller’s piano dominates throughout. A percussive, muscular player in the mold of McCoy Tyner, he’s a remarkable soloist with a wealth of rhythmic and melodic ideas and a yen for dark and gnarly harmonies.

Kodama Trio CD Review (Allaboutjazz.com) 

Muller brings spritely, spiky energy that contrasts nicely with the mellower qualities of tuba and ‘bone. His adventurous, muscular solos incorporate elements from bebop to funk, with touches of hip-hop attitude.

Christian Pincock CD Review (Melminter.com) 

Muller is like a vampire in that if you invite him in he’ll always just kind of be around. Also, he’s a pretty amazing pianist, so…

Pranzo (Santa Fe Reporter) 

There are proggy elements at play that present a more rock ‘n roll sensibility than many might think when they hear the qualifier “jazz” and if nothing else, these guys are all f*cking bonkers when it comes to musicianship.

Mushi Trio Review (Santa Fe Reporter) 

Pete Miser: The piano player, Robert Muller, is just so hyper-musical, like kind of jazz-based. He’s a student of Andrew Hill. He’s so out that he goes into the anti-music zone, you know what I mean? 

Cosmik: Playing off someone who’s in that frame of mind must be kind of inspirational for you.

Pete Miser: Yeah, it’s dope.

Cosmik Debris Magazine (Pete Miser Interview)


Sounds

I used to have a CDBaby player here but they’ve gone dark, I’ll update with a new player or something from Soundcloud when I get around to it, meanwhile, Kodama Trio still has our album available on Amazon, and I usually have a project or two posted on Bandcamp.

Pictures


Videos


Contact

* It has recently come to my attention that my “contact” form broke at some point. Even though it would show a “thank you for your message,” screen when people sent me something, I was not actually getting anything sent to me.

I’m not really sure when it broke, but if you have sent me a message and I have not responded, I sincerely apologize, I always respond. I’m doing away with the whole “contact form” thing for now and you can just send me an email if you want to get in touch. robertmuller@gmail.com