Robert Turner has the gift. He plays with instinct, feel and purpose.  He's Humble and powerful. He can play with anyone. 


Billy Bush


One look back at his journey so far makes it easy to see why multi-award winning jazz piano master Robert Turner is quickly becoming one of music’s most talked about artists. Having initially taken drums as his childhood instrument of choice, Turner happened upon his gift for playing piano relatively late, at sixteen. That same year he discovered two figures he now identifies as his primary influences: piano greats Gene Harris and Erroll Garner. 


Spending his remaining teenage years cementing his musical vocabulary at local Baptist churches in his native Los Angeles, Robert Turner would go on to study music at L.A. City College, Sacramento State University and ultimately at the Yamaha School of Music in Nagoya, Japan.


When Turner returned from China in 2017 having spent a year soloing with the Shanghai Symphony, tales of his ability to create absolute magic on a piano spread quickly around the west coast. Before he knew it, the thirty-something found himself in a slew of different piano-centric roles, including sessions for Dr. Dre and Stevie Wonder. 


Like Horace Silver, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, George Shearing and a select few, there is a ‘gift from above’ lyricism in Robert Turner’s playing. It seems as if he is a mere vessel with some other force speaking through it. Even well-worn classics take on never before seen colors/textures. Explains frequent musical cohort bassist Kevin O’Neal, “Robert’s mind is so musical. He samples the rawest of human emotion, boils it down to an essence, then reinterprets it for our benefit. This is the most clear, the most communicative music can be in the absence of words”. 


O’Neal, (a multiple Grammy-winner himself) is on the mark. Words don’t do Robert Turner justice. He has to be heard to be understood.

James Torme

Photo By Glenn Gordon