A Biography of Abraxas Keyboardist Robert
Bob was born with Latin piano in his blood. His father, Humberto Cuellar, played in New York City with many Latin bands in the early 1950's. The mesmerizing rhythms of Latin piano were a part of Bob's childhood, and as he watched his father play, he knew that the piano was something he wanted to make a major part of his life. He began studying classical piano at age 10, and later developed an interest in performance of the honky tonk and boogie-woogie styles. Eventually, Bob was hooked by the soulful and very demanding mastery of the Hammond B3 organ. Bob's resume is full of exciting experiences, with extensive club performances in Greenwich Village with bands that include The Turtles, The Lovin' Spoonful, and The Blues Magoos. He also was a professional performer in the Latin circuit, with Tito Puente and many other world-class Latin bandleaders hiring Bob for his Latin keyboard talent. Bob also paid his dues in the New York City music circuit playing in top soul and R&B groups, and he still performs occasionally with one of upstate New York's top night club bands "The PastTells".
Bob eventually moved to Maryland, where he played a long engagement with one of Northern Virginia's top club bands "The Fabulous Belairs", known for their "Blues Brothers" show. A period of regrouping and hiatus for Abraxas had Bob waiting in the shadows, and we eventually were able to bring him to his first gig with us, and needless to say we were instantly astounded at the potential we had sitting on stage with us.
Bob has brought an incredible and long-sought sound and feel to the Abraxas band, filling a severe need for the soulful and expressive sound of the Hammond B3 organ. Much of the music chosen by the band is totally conducive to the unique and actually very difficult mastery of the B3, with its powerful dynamics and tonal capabilities. Bob's mastery of the B3 is beyond anything the band ever anticipated, and as the band develops in its new phase of creativity, the sound of the B3 will grow ever more prominent. It is only with Bob's extensive professional experience and deeply artistic touch on the instrument that the band's sound can evolve into one of the most unique and memorable bands to perform in this region. We value his creative input, uplifting presence, and family-like dedication greatly, and know that the audiences will take a pleasant memory of the music with them after each energy-charged show.