University of Virginia

Jospé joined the University of Virginia’s music department’s performance faculty in 1989. For over two decades Robert has been UVA’s primary drum set instructor teaching Jazz Drumming. In 2008 Robert began teaching his rhythmic fluency course “Learn to Groove”. He is a founding member of UVA’s faculty jazz ensemble, The Free Bridge Quintet. With the Free Bridge Quintet, Robert contributed to the online educational component of Jazz by UVA Professor Scott DeVeaux and jazz writer Gary Giddins.

Learn To Groove

Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

2 credit undergraduate academic course

Learn to Groove classroom with students playing hand drums

Learn to Groove classroom

This is a hand drumming class open to all students including music majors. The course requires that students have a hand drum of their own as well as the course book Learn To Groove. Congas, djembes, doumbeks are all appropriate.

The class will focus on simple hand drumming technique and time keeping along with understanding and playing syncopated patterns. The history, geography and artists associated with the rhythms presented in the course will be discussed. The course is designed to help students achieve fluency with syncopated patterns that are associated with dance rhythms from West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the United States. Included in the course is a daily practice of MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, designed to enhance relaxation, present moment awareness and compassion towards oneself and others.

Learn to Groove class participants

The fundamentals are focused on the three most common rudiments; the single and double stroke roll and the paradiddle. The two measure phrases are based on the 3/2 and 2/3 Son and Rumba clave patterns found in Afro-Cuban and Caribbean music as well as the Bossa clave from Brazil. These patterns are also found in Rock and R+B. Polyrhythms and 6/8 grooves are drawn from African dances and Swing. The goal is to flow freely from one rudiment and one pattern to the next, subdividing in eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenth notes.Click here to view Groove Passage performed by MUSI 2342 class in Old Cabell Hall

Jazz Drumming

2-3 Credits 13 weeks

Provides individualized instruction on the drum set with an emphasis on Swing, Afro Cuban, Afro Brazilian, Rock and Funk styles. Lessons involve basic rudiments, drum set chart reading, time feels, improvisation, rhythm section playing and creative soloing. Polyrhythms and odd meters are studied as well as the influx of world rhythms on jazz.

> Click here to purchase my book, Learn to Groove-Fundamentals and Syncopated Patterns for Drum set and Hand Drums

Free Bridge Quintet: University of Virginia Faculty Jazz Quintet

The Free Bridge Quintet is the official faculty jazz quintet of the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Music. It features Jeff Decker on saxophones, Robert Jospé on the drums, Butch Taylor on piano, Peter Spaar on bass, and John D’earth on trumpet and flugelhorn. The members of the Free Bridge Quintet are all long-standing members of a deep, Central Virginia jazz community. One can see and hear them in many different venues playing their original music. Founded in 1997, the FBQ brought to the bandstand a wealth of shared performance and a long experience of exploring each other’s compositions and musical concepts.

Free Bridge Quintet performing in Old Cabell Hall

Free Bridge Quintet performing in Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia

The Free Bridge Quintet performs semi-annual concerts for the music department at famous Old Cabell Hall auditorium, located on the historic University of Virginia lawn. The group also performs at other venues, including jazz festivals, UVA events, performing arts centers, and at Virginia High Schools as part of their arts enrichment program. The group released their first CD, Spanning Time, in 2000 and in 2007 released a live recording of their concert “For the Record,” consisting of original music by the band. Their concerts are known for the wide range of music performed. Anything is fair game for this versatile group, from New Orleans-style to hard bop, from Afro-pop to Hip Hop. The group also performs their own inventive and intricate compositions.

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