Originally from Philadelphia, Bobby Cottonwood started singing at the age of 2. Moving to Los Angeles at age 12, Bobby not only took with him the early Philadelphia vocal influences but he was then inspired to turn professional as a drummer, singer and bandleader, appearing with Dean Martin, Helen Reddy, Paul Williams, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Billy Eckstine, Nelson Riddle and a score of others in Las Vegas, Reno, as well as with his own bands throughout the U.S. and Canada, appearing with the Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher, The Smothers Brothers and Kenny Rogers as early as 1966 and throughout the '70s and into the '80s.
But it wasn't unil 1986, for a period of 10 years, when he opened his jazz club, Legends of Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd., and later in Studio City, that his roots in Jazz started to grow and develop, influenced by all the legendary jazz greats who performed there along with him: greats like Freddy Hubbard, James Moody, Supersax great Jay Migliori, Ray Pizzi, Tonight Show staples Ross Tompkins, Sal Marquez, Pete and Conti Condoli, Don Menza, Jack Sheldon, Herb Jeffries, Ernie Andrews, Jake Hanna, Sarah Vaughn pianist George Gaffney, Stan Kenton bassist Ernie McDaniel, Charlie Parker drummer Larance Marable and countless others.
After selling his successful jazz club to a famous blues club entrepreneur Cottonwood moved to Sedona in 1995 and has been a regular performing jazz and country to rave audiences and reviews in the No. Ariz. scene. His love and loyalty to jazz has allowed him to expand his musical abilities and opportuities. One such opportunity is his collaboration with legendary jazz pianist Joe Bonner, from Harlem. Arranged through Milt Cannon, Pres. of the Prescott Jazz Society who brought Bonner to Prescott from Copenhagen this past year for a 6 month residency, Joe has since moved to No. Ariz. where he and Cottonwood perform regularly at Fairs, Festivals, and in night club, hotel and casino show rooms.
Bonner has appeared on over 40 albums. He replaced Chic Corea in Roy Haynes Band at Count Basie's Club in Harlem, met John Coltrane as a boy, played basketball with Herbie Hancock, lived next door to Miles Davis, performed with Aretha Franklin, Pharoah Saunders, Randy Crawford and Max Roach as well as the Jones Bros., Elvin, Thad and Mel, James Brown, Otis Redding, Diana Ross and many others.
Cottonwood and Bonner quickly discovered a rare sense of musical sensitivity and compatability and agreed to record their 1st cd, "Smile", together and it is a critical success. A 2nd cd, "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" is in the works by the pair and will be released by Christmas, 2003.