Grammy Award-winning drummer Robby Ameen has been living in New York City since the early eighties and has compiled a recording career stretching from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon, while maintaining a more than twenty year relationship with Latin icon Ruben Blades as a member of Seis del Solar. Although he is of Lebanese origin, Robby is best known for the unique and powerful Afro-Cuban jazz style he has developed. Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, Robby was able to take advantage of his proximity to New York City by going to clubs and hearing many of the great jazz masters at a very young age. At the same time, he was involved in the local jazz and latin scene, as well as later attending Yale University, where he received a BA in literature. His jazz roots were strongly influenced by his studies with the great Ed Blackwell in high school, while in college he studied classical percussion with the renowned Fred Hinger.
Upon moving to New York, Robby began recording with flutist Dave Valentin and soon afterwards Ruben Blades, who was the first salsa singer to add a full- time drummer to his band, Seis del Solar. Another one of his early recordings was "New Faces" with Dizzy Gillespie, about whom Dizzy said in JazzTimes "Just the other day I made a record with a Lebanese drummer..." b-a- a-d! He had so much happening, and it keeps going, you know?"
On the Latin scene Robby has recorded many records with Eddie Palmieri, as well as having toured or recorded with such luminaries as Mongo Santamaria, Paquito D'Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, and Willie Colon among many others. Robby was the drummer at Marc Anthony's historic first solo concert at Madison Square Garden.
Another one of Robby's longstanding relationships has been with producer- composer Kip Hanrahan, with whom he has been recording and touring since 1987. He was also the drummer for Paul Simon's "Capeman", with whom he worked through the long rehearsal period up until the recordings and the actual show, as well as VH1's "Storytellers" and part of the BAM's Paul Simon retrospective.. Robby also has toured and recorded extensively with Jack Bruce's "Cuicoland Express" band and is a longtime member of Conrad Herwig's oft Grammy-nominated " Latin Side of ..." band.
As a co-leader, Robby has recorded three records with the "El Negro and Robby Band" along side Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez. He also helped found the latin-jazz power trio "Overproof." Most recently Robby has released his "Days in the Night" solo project, composing and arranging most of the music, as a follow-up to the earlier "Days in the Life" record.