Student at the piano

Bob Lark

Robert Lark

Bob Lark Jazz ensemble and jazz combos, Adjunct Instructor of Music – Jazz 219.464.5454 Jazz Bands


Bob Lark is recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally as a contemporary jazz educator and performer of integrity.  His approach to pedagogy and rehearsal techniques have been noted by participation in professional conferences; publication of articles; compact disc recordings as both a performer and ensemble director; and the direction of numerous student honors ensembles.  Down Beat magazine recognized Bob’s work in 2010 with their Jazz Education Achievement Award.

In speaking of Lark, jazz icon Clark Terry stated, “He’s a very good trumpet player, a very good musician.  He’s paid his dues.”  Recordings on the Jazzed Media label include those by The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet, Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band, and Bob Lark and Friends, featuring Phil Woods, Rufus Reid and Jim McNeely.  Bob’s playing and writing are also featured on the CD recordings Until You and First Steps on the Hallway label.  He is an exclusive Yamaha Performing Artist.

From 1990 – 2021, Bob Lark served as Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University, Chicago.  In 2013, DePaul University honored Professor Lark as an ambassador for the DePaul Distinctions Campaign.  Under his direction, The DePaul University Jazz Ensemble produced several Outstanding Performance Awards from the Jazz Educators Journal, Down Beat and Jazz Times magazines.  Dozens of Dr. Lark’s former students have been recipients of the Down Beat Student Music Awards for jazz improvisation, composition, arranging, jazz combo and large jazz ensemble performance.  Former students of Dr. Lark’s include Marquis Hill (1st place, 2014 Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition); Jon Irabagon (1st place, 2008 Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition); Rudresh Mahanthappa (2011 “Saxophonist of the Year,” Down Beat magazine; 2007 Guggenheim Fellow); and David MacDonald, drummer with The Airmen Of Note.

Under the direction of Dr. Lark, the DPUJE performed at The Midwest Clinic (four times); IAJE Conference (three times); The International Duke Ellington Conference; The NAMM Show (twice); the Chicago Jazz Festival (three times); the Jazz Education Network Conference (with The Phil Woods Ensemble at DePaul University); and Chicago’s famed jazz venue, the Jazz Showcase (regularly from 1990 onward).  International performances by the Jazz Ensemble under his direction include cruises aboard The Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner for the Annual Floating Jazz Festival (twice), and the S.S. Norwegian Sun for Jazz Times magazine’s 2nd Annual Jazz Party At Sea.  Jazz festival performances by the Jazz Ensemble throughout a tour of Abruzzi, Italy, are featured on a DVD/CD dual disc recording.           

As director of the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, twenty-seven recordings were created, including albums with legendary jazz artists Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Jeff Hamilton, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Louie Bellson, Ira Sullivan, Mark Colby, Bobby Shew, Frank Wess, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra members Charles Vernon and John Bruce Yeh. 

Bob Lark is an active clinician, guest soloist and conductor.  He has served as host for the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition; past-president of the Illinois Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education; and chair for the International Trumpet Guild jazz improvisation competition.  Throughout the 1990’s, he directed the Midwest GRAMMY High School Jazz Band.  The publication of articles include those in Down Beat, The Instrumentalist, The Jazz Education Journal, and the Saxophone Journal.  He is a published author with Mountain Peak Music. Prior to his appointment to DePaul, Bob served as Director of Jazz Studies and Applied Trumpet at Emporia (KS) State University.  He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance from the University of North Texas, having earlier earned a Master of Music Education degree from that school, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University.