Music Department

Faculty & Staff

Robert Rumbolz

Associate Professor of Music | Director of Music Technology | Music Program Coordinator

Phone: 307-754-6426
Office: Nelson Performing Arts, NPA 19

As a trumpet player, composer and sound designer Dr. Rumbolz maintains a strong affinity for the offbeat and unpredictable contours of contemporary music. As an undergraduate music student at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN, Dr. Rumbolz first developed a fascination with music synthesis and sound recording.

He received his Masters of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in Composition and Theory where he concentrated on composition incorporating various non-Western elements as well as improvisation.

For nearly ten years, Robert Rumbolz was a regular face in the active Minneapolis/St. Paul new music and jazz scene where he played regularly with the Pat Moriarty ensemble and wrote music for Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and The Minnesota Ballet Theater and School.

Developing his interest in non-western music, Dr. Rumbolz went on to study ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where he received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ethnomusicology. In 1993, he was able to travel to the West African Nation of the Republic of Ghana as a Fulbright Fellow to conduct research on the history of brass bands from the colonial period to the present day.

As a performer, Robert has had the opportunity to play and record with a distinguished field of artists in jazz and new music including: the late Ed Blackwell, Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, the late Doc Cheatham, the late Don Cherry, the late Julius Hemphill, Guy Klusevic, Jimmy Knepper, Roscoe Mitchel, David Murray, John Rapson, Roswell Rudd.

Always interested in a challenge, Dr. Rumbolz jumped at the opportunity to create and produce the first transpacific live-interactive arts event for ATT and US Midwest/Japan. This forty minute program coordinated dancers and performers form several remote locations (including Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, IA and Tokyo Japan) to demonstrate advances in fiber optic technology.

In 1998, Robert and his wife, Elaine DeBuhr, were blessed with a son, Miles. In an effort to find a voice for this new life experience Robert turned to the perfect medium to tell a story with sound - Radio. His commentary and music piece, "Father's Day Postcard" was featured on National Public Radio's "Weekend All Things Considered."


Recording Credits


Ames. Traker, a Portland, OR-based alternative rock band. (Film Guerrero 2000).

Dark was the Night-Cold was the Ground. Allen Lowe and the American Song Project featuring Roswell Rudd. (Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc., 1994)

Four Compositions. Large ensemble works by Anthony Braxton. (Black Saint Records, 1992)

Mental Strain at Dawn: A Modern Portrait of Louis Armstrong. Allen Lowe and the Jack Purvis Memorial Orchestra with David Murray, Doc Cheatham and Loren Shoenberg. (Stash Records, 1992)

New Tango '92: After Astor Piazzola. Allen Lowe and Orchestra X with Doc Cheatham and Julius Hemphill. (Fairhaven Records, 1992)

A Dream Awakening. Quintessence. (NAAM Productions 1987)

Free Fall. The Pat Moriarty Ensemble's "Outside…Albert," in memory of Albert Ayler on this compilation of improvised music by Minnesota composers. (Inova Records, 1988)



Tangerine Blue. Producer for jazz singer Sara Rivera's debut CD (SR1325, 2001)

Wesleyan Solos. Live recording engineer for unaccompanied saxophone solos by Anthony Braxton. (Hat Art 1992)

Robert Rumbolz Photo