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Remembering Bob Boss: A Legacy of Jazz in San Diego

Young Lions Jazz Conservatory community and the wider San Diego jazz scene are still coming to terms with the loss of a truly remarkable individual, Bob Boss, who passed away last month. Bob was not just an esteemed instructor at YLJC but also a luminous figure in the realm of jazz, whose musical journey has left an indelible legacy. Born on July 24, 1952, in Killeen, Texas, Bob’s lifelong engagement with music began with a simple yet transformative Christmas gift—an electric guitar that set him on a path of discovery and mastery in jazz.

With degrees in Humanities from California State University, Chico, Bob’s academic achievements laid the groundwork for a career that spanned performing on stage to nurturing the next generation of musicians. After moving to Oceanside in 1983, Bob quickly established himself as a vital part of San Diego's jazz community, performing alongside giants such as Marshall Hawkins, Gilbert Castellanos, Joshua White, Holly Hofmann, Mike Wofford, Rob Thorsen, and countless others. His versatility and passion for music ensured that each performance, regardless of the venue, was memorable and impactful.

Bob’s dedication to education was profound, impacting students at San Diego State University for over two decades and at YLJC, where he encouraged young musicians to find and hone their unique voices. His teaching went beyond technique, fostering a philosophy that valued authenticity and personal expression.

Aside from music, Bob’s interests in woodworking, reading, and nature, combined with his sense of humor and skill as a storyteller, made him a beloved figure beyond the stage and classroom. He leaves behind his wife, Vicky, and daughters, Lucille and Rita, along with a community of musicians and students who saw in him a mentor, a friend, and family. The void left by his passing is profound, yet Bob's legacy lives on through the music he created, the lives he touched, and the memories cherished by all who knew him.

As we mourn the loss of Bob Boss, we also celebrate his extraordinary life and contributions to jazz. His legacy of passion, mentorship, and musical excellence will continue to resonate, inspiring future generations of musicians.

Please join us at Panama 66 on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, to celebrate the life and legacy of Bob Boss.

YLJC Students:

  • Sebastian Nilsson - Guitar

  • Audie Daly - Guitar

  • Aiden Afshar - Guitar

  • Ethan Fairclough - Guitar

  • Luke Little - Bass

  • Preston Lange - Drums


Panama 66 (Google Maps

FREE - all ages


7:00 PM to 7:50 PM

Listen to Bob Boss:

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