Who Is Roberto Miranda?

The Maestro Behind the Music

He was born in New York city to Puerto Rican parents.

His father, Louis, was a singer, percussionist, electrician and was also his first music teacher.

His mother, Mary, was a homemaker, secretary and later a nurse. 

One of Roberto’s fondest memories is watching his parents dance; they were quite an attractive couple.

The family moved to Los Angeles in the mid 50’s.

Louis Sr. taught Louis Jr.(Roberto’s older brother) and Roberto traditional Puerto Rican percussion.

Louis Jr. still plays drum set and bongos. Although Roberto’s main instrument is upright bass, his first instrument was congas, which  he  still plays and teaches.

Roberto went on to earn a master’s degree in music from USC with an emphasis was jazz studies.

He also did Private studies on upright bass with Ray Brown, Red Mitchell, Bob Stone, Peter Mercurio, Bill Rene, Dennis Trembly, Fred Tinsley and Diana Gannett.

His main composition teacher was George Heussenstamm. 

Roberto has received two composition grants from the National endowment for the Arts. (1976, 1983).The earlier  work was performed by the Compton Symphony Orchestra and  the later work was his Master’s recital at USC with the Home Music Ensemble which he led.

Roberto has recorded close to 100 LPs and CDs, five have been under his own name.

Over the years he has led many different groups consisting of different instrumental variations.

His professional mentors, in whose bands he played, have been; Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Horace Tapscott and Kenny Burrell. 

He has toured Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. with his mentors, fellow musicians and his own groups

He has taught at Compton Community College (5 Years), USC (5Years) and is still teaching at UCLA (23Years).

He has also taught privately for more than 35 years.

Roberto has been a member of PAPA (the Pan-Arian Peoples Arkestra and UGMAA, Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension),  for over 50 years.

He is a husband, father and grandfather.

Image by Miti


Education, Professional Experiences, and more...

Most Recent Works:

2020 PBS KCET  Arts Special 'Passing On The Magic'

2020 PBS KCET Arts Special N.Y.E.L.A


Professional Clear Ryan Music Supplemental Credential Bilingual/CLAD Credential

K-12 Teaching Credential, State of California

Master of Music: University of Southern California (USC) -1986

Special studies and postgraduate work in composition, string bass and jazz studies

Bachelor of Arts: California State University, Dominquez Hills -1979

Professional Experience: 

2018-Pres. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) – Adjunct Professor III , Global Jazz Studies

1996-2018 UCLA - Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology/ Jazz Studies Program (Kenny Burrell, Department Director)

2002-2016 Millikan Middle School - Music Teacher

2001-2002 MIND Institute - Music Teacher, Oak St. Elementary School

2000-2002 Music Center, Education Division - Teaching Artist

1992-2000 Los Angeles Unified School District - Elementary School Teacher

1963-Pres. Miguel Music Company - President, musician, recording artist, and instructor 

1988-1992 USC Department of Jazz Studies - Co-founder and music director of Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble (ALAJE). Other co-founder was Dr.Thom Mason, Chair Department of Jazz Studies

1986-1991 University of Southern California - Lecturer for the School of Music, Department of Jazz Studies 

1984-1986 University of Southern California - Teaching Assistant for the School of Music, Department of Jazz Studies

Awards & Recognitions: 

World Stage Performance Gallery, Living Their Lives As Jazz People: Interview Dec 2007

Radio interview appearances with KPFK and KCRW in Los Angeles and KPFA in Berkeley

2005 IAJE 32nd International Conference, Long Beach, California - Certificate of Appreciation

2004 City of Los Angeles Certificate of Appreciation 1999 - Larry Gales 4th Annual Music Achievement Award​

1985 Honored by University of Southern California, School of Music Department of Jazz Studies) - Recognition of Professional Services

​1984 Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, Fellowship Grant

1976 Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts/Jazz/Folk/Ethnic composition grant

Other Professional Activities: 

Commission for Jazz Opera and Performance Art for George Herms/Collage Artist Phantom Gallery  August  13-14, 17-18 2007

​Commission to Conduct a String Bass Jazz Workshop at the Watts Music Festival September  28,  2008

​Sponsored by The Pasadena Orchestras performance-lecture:

February 27, 2008: Roberto Miranda/Justo Almario and CrossCover

June 22, 2008 Roberto Miranda/Danilo Lozano  and CrossCover

Mount Hood Oregon Festival - Jazz Workshop Faculty Member - 1988

Performance Highlights: 

Individual concert appearances with Gloria Lynne, Bobby Bradford, Julius Hemphill, John Carter, Horace Tapscott, Tim Berne, Vinny Golia, Charles Lloyd, Milcho Leviev,  David Murray, Oliver Lake, Michael Garson, Cecil Taylor and Arsenio  Rodriguez.

Tour and festival performances with Charles Lloyd (East Coast and Canada), Bobby Hutcherson (Canada)Daniel Valdez (Southwest U.S.), Vinny Golia, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Blythe(Europe) and Thom Mason (lsrael).Bobby Bradford and John Carter (Padua, Italy Jazz Festival & Kool Jazz Festival), and James Newton (Kool Jazz and Playboy Jazz Festival).

Orchestral performances with Carson Symphony Orchestra, Dominquez Hills Chamber Music Ensemble,  Compton  Symphony,  Westside Symphony.

Specific Appearances include:

Mimi Melnick's Jazz Salon Series:

January 6, 2008 with Ghasem Batamuntu

May 4, 2008 with Sunship Theus

June 29, 2008 with The Trible-Daaood Project

August 24th, 2008 with Jesse Sharps

January 22, 2006 Roberto Miranda's CrossCover with special guest, Justo Almario

LACMA with the PanAfrican Peoples Arkestra, April 18, 2008 ​

Red Cat Theater/Los Angeles with Dwight Trible/Kamau Daaooud Ensemble, Jan.18 2008

Watts Jazz Festival with Nedra Wheeler Bass Choir, September 28, 2008 

​Painted Sky Studio, Cambria, CA,  Solo Bass Performance, October 18, 2008

Monterey Jazz Festival Performances: 2007, 1988 (with John Carter Octet)

World Stage Jazz Festival, Leimert Park with The Contra Bass Quintet, August 13, 2006

World Premiere: Composer Jeannie B. Wells Concert of Sacred Music, CSUN March 24, 2007

Bobby Bradford and the Mo'tet


Monthly performances at Cafe 322 in Sierra Madre, California 2007-2008

Twice yearly at LACMA 2004-2008

Armand Hammer Museum, August 16, 2007

Kenny Burrell Quartet/Quintet Appearances:

Catalina Bar and Grill, 2008, 2006, & appearing twice yearly from 2000-2005

Yoshi's in San Francisco, September 6-9, 2007; August 14-17, 2008

Stanford University July 12, 2008

Royce Hall/UCLA  2006

Yoshi's East in New York 2006; 2005; 2004

University  of  Kansas with Jubilant Sykes 2005

Orange County Performing  Arts Center  with Carmen  Bradford  Quartet, Kenny Burrell and Stanley  Jordan Quartet – 2000

Jazz Bakery  with David Murray Trio – 2000

Artist-in-Residence, University of lowa Dept of Jazz Studies (2 weeks): European tour with Horace Tapscott – 1998

Artist-in-Residence University of Iowa Dept. of Jazz Studies (2 weeks) – 1997

Both residencies were at the invitation of John Rapson, Department Chair, Jazz Studies

Lincoln Center: Australian Tour with Horace Tapscott - 1996

Vancouver Jazz Festival with Bobby  Bradford - 1992

Village Vanguard with Horace Tapscott – 1992, 1991

Premier performance of Roberto Miranda and ALAJE (Afro-Latin-American-Jazz­ Ensemble) at Catalina Bar & Grill – 1992

European tour with Horace Tapscott - 1991

Helsinki, Finland Jazz Festival: Horace Tapscott Trio & Don Preston Trio - 1991

Pori, Finland Jazz Festival: John Carter Octet Quartet & Bobby Bradford Quintet - 1989

Roberto Miranda Sextet tour of Europe - 1988

CDs, DVDs, Albums and Documentaries: 

Matt Ritvo “Turn the Mic On” Documentary of Rehearsals and Recording Session with jazz musicians 2011​

Kenny Burrell/75th Birthday Bash Live, July 31, 2006

Roberto Miranda composition "Faith" recorded by Horace Tapscott Quartet for Hat Hut Records – 1989

Albums/CDs Recorded Under Own Name

2002 Roberto Miranda Ensemble, With Groanings Too Deep For Words, (Miguel Music)

1981 Roberto Miranda, Raphael, (Nimbus West)

1980 Roberto Miranda, The Creator's Musician, (Nimbus West) 

Albums/CDs Recorded with other Artists

2006 Jesse Sharps, The Gathering (independent production) 

2005 David Ornette Cherry, Organic Groove (CEM)

2004 Ben Rosenbloom, Live at Club Tropical (Lumina Records)

2003 Bobby Bradford, Live at LACMA (Waterboy Records)

2003 Kenny Burrell, Blue Muse (Concord Records)

2003 Steve Shelton, Some Stories (Independent production) 

2002 Darrel Moore, Influenced by Intensity (Quintessential) 

2002 Michael McDaniel, Beloved (Sole Sound Records Inc.)

2001 John Rapson, Water and  Blood (9 Winds Records)

2001 Oliva Revueltas, Angel of Scissors (Opción Sonica)

2000 Steve Shelton, Do What You Do Best (Independent Production)

2000 Ben Rosenbloom, Lumina ,Tass (Aviva)

1999 David Ornette Cherry, The End Of A Century (Tonga Productions) 

1999 Olivia Revueltas, 'Round Midnight In  L.A.  (ORT)

1999 David Such, Winds On The Horizon (Aim Recording Co.) 

1997 Kamau Daood, Leimert Park (Mama Records)

1996 Glenn Horiuchi, Hilltop View (Music and Arts) 

1996 Glenn Horiuchi, Mercy (Music and Arts)

1996 Francis Wong (Independent Production)

1996 Horace Tapscott (Independent Production) 

1993 Saundra  Sharp, On  The Sharp Side

1990 Vinny Golia, Pilgrimage To Obscurity (9 Winds Records)

1987 James Newton, Water Mystery (Gramavision) 

1987 Thom Mason, New Traditions, (Affinity) 

​​1984 Curtis  Clarke, Phmtasmagoria, (Nimbus) 

1984 Dadisi  Wells, Hassan's  Walk, (Nimbus)

1984 John Rapson, Deeba Dah-Bwee, (Nine Winds) 

1984 John Carter, Dauhwe, (Black Saint)

1984 Thomas Tedesco, and Ocean, (Nimbus)

1984 Bobby Bradford, Lost in L.A, (Soul Note) 

1982 Horace Tapscott, Live at I.U.C.C., (Nimbus)

1982 Charles Lloyd, Nightblooming Jasmine (Forest Farm Music and  Art)

1981 Adele Sebastian, Desert Fairy Princess, (Nimbus)

1981 John Carter/Bobby  Bradford  Quintet,  Nightfire, (Black Saint)

1981 Vinny Golia Quintet, The  Gift of  Fury,  (Ninewinds)

1981 Vinny Golia Trio, Slice of Life, (Ninewinds) 

1980 Gary Bias Quintet, East 101, (Nimbus)

1980 Walter Thompson, Staroate, (Dane Recmds) 

1980 Linda Hill, Lullaby for  Linda, (Nimbus)

1980 Horace Tapscott, Live at Lobero, Vols. I & II (Nimbus) 

1980 Horace Tapscott, Dial 'B'  for  Barbra, (Nimbus)

1980 Tim Berne, 7 x, (Empire)

1979 Tim Berne Quartet, 5-Year Plalfl, (Empire) 

1979 Vinny Golia, Openhearted, (Ninewinds)

1977 Vinny Golia, Spirits in  Fellowship. (Ninewinds) 

1976 Ron Jefferson, Vons Ete's Swing. (Catalyst Records) 

1976 Jazz Symphonies, The Beginning. (Renfro Records) 

1973 En Medio Saracho, En Medio, (ABC-Dunhill)

 1972 Charles Lloyd, Waves, (A&M Records)


2006 The Dark Tree Appendix by Roberto Miranda

Completion of oral history transcript, Beyond Central: Roberto Miranda, the result of an interview conducted by Steven L lsoardi under the auspices of UCLA Center or Oral History Research