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ROBERT KRAMER - BIOGRAPHY

An accomplished stage and studio musician and composer, Robert Kramer has been a mainstay on the midwest music scene for over 20 years. His vocal and compositional styles have been compared to such artists as Sting, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen & others. He is skilled in keyboards, guitars, vocals and composition from many styles of music from rock and pop to blues, jazz, classical, orchestral and folk. Kramer has independently produced and released a number of solo projects, and has performed on and produced other artists releases. 

Although starting his career in the early 70's as a musician for other bands, he became involved writing avante-garde novelty rock/jazz music loosely based on the compositions of Frank Zappa & the early Mothers of Invention and toured with the theatrical show band "Dr. Bizarro & The Disgustos". Performing mostly for custom vanner festivals, playing in front of as many as 10,000 or more in outdoor venues, the act had an ever-changing line-up, and despite a growing fanbase among the vanner crowd, a mention of the band and its fanbase in Rolling Stone,  and a brief re-union in the early 90's, the group dis-banded, but not before recording an unreleased series of albums.

After a serious neck injury and surgery halted his performing career in the early 90's, he continued to write music in his home studio, focusing his energy back to his original instrument, the keyboards. Fighting a series of personal health struggles, Kramer spent two years in recovery while beginning a whole new series of writing and recording projects, eventually leading him to expand his musical boundaries. In 2000, he went on to compose and record an all original classical renaissance album, "Songs Of Past Lives", a collection of beautiful instrumental music that continues to garner high praise and airplay on new age, soundscape and classical broadcast and internet stations around the world.

After a serious neck injury and surgery halted his performing career in the early 90's, he continued to write music in his home studio, focusing his energy back to his original instrument, the keyboards. Fighting a series of personal health struggles, Kramer spent two years in recovery while beginning a whole new series of writing and recording projects, eventually leading him to expand his musical boundaries. In 2000, he went on to compose and record an all original classical renaissance album, "Songs Of Past Lives", a collection of beautiful instrumental music that continues to garner high praise and airplay on new age, soundscape and classical broadcast and internet stations around the world.

In 2001,  Kramer composed "Remember Their Lives", the noted "basset rescue" soundtrack album for Guardian Angel Basset Rescues' documentary film, which has gone on to help the organization to raise thousands of dollars over the years to support the efforts of many basset hound rescue groups both in the US and overseas. The album, now a classic among basset hound owners and supporters of rescue efforts, contains the novelty tune "Lets Go To The Waddle", lyrics written by his wife Dona to which he wrote the melody in tribute to their basset hound "Flash". The song and the album has since taken its' place as a theme song used at many basset rescue events across the U.S. <br> It was during this period he also worked with singer-songwriter Val Leventhal, whos song "Little Brown Dog", a soulful blues track, made its debut on the album to the delight of basset lovers everywhere.

In 2001, Kramer composed "Remember Their Lives", the noted "basset rescue" soundtrack album for Guardian Angel Basset Rescues' documentary film, which has gone on to help the organization to raise thousands of dollars over the years to support the efforts of many basset hound rescue groups both in the US and overseas. The album, now a classic among basset hound owners and supporters of rescue efforts, contains the novelty tune "Lets Go To The Waddle", lyrics written by his wife Dona to which he wrote the melody in tribute to their basset hound "Flash". The song and the album has since taken its' place as a theme song used at many basset rescue events across the U.S.
It was during this period he also worked with singer-songwriter Val Leventhal, whos song "Little Brown Dog", a soulful blues track, made its debut on the album to the delight of basset lovers everywhere.

It was also during this period he wrote and released his first commercial pop/rock record, "Blood On The Full Moon".  One of the songs on the album "Who Says?" (a song he wrote about his disillusionment with not becoming successful in the music business)  represented an odd turning point for Kramers' career, becoming the first song ever published, ultimately used in an indie film "Monkey Love", which represented the debut film appearance of now A-list actor Jeremy Renner.

Driving his love of music was his continued fascination with the technical recording process, and after graduating from a series of recording classes, he opened up his own project studio to further use as a platform to create and release his own compositions as well as assist other bands recording efforts. He spent the years 2003 to 2005 working on his next project, "Legacy Of Love" which features premiere performances by the legendary Napoleon Murphy Brock, former lead vocalist & saxophone player for Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention. Kramer met Brock at a Zappa tribute concert some years before, and the two became fast friends and began working together on two songs from the album, "Water Into Wine" & "Place In My Heart". The album, a combination of progressive rock, catchy upbeat pop, driving blues, acoustic, and soulful r & b, continues to break boundaries, attracting listeners from many age groups.

It was also during this period he wrote and released his first commercial pop/rock record, "Blood On The Full Moon". One of the songs on the album "Who Says?" (a song he wrote about his disillusionment with not becoming successful in the music business) represented an odd turning point for Kramers' career, becoming the first song ever published, ultimately used in an indie film "Monkey Love", which represented the debut film appearance of now A-list actor Jeremy Renner.

Driving his love of music was his continued fascination with the technical recording process, and after graduating from a series of recording classes, he opened up his own project studio to further use as a platform to create and release his own compositions as well as assist other bands recording efforts. He spent the years 2003 to 2005 working on his next project, "Legacy Of Love" which features premiere performances by the legendary Napoleon Murphy Brock, former lead vocalist & saxophone player for Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention. Kramer met Brock at a Zappa tribute concert some years before, and the two became fast friends and began working together on two songs from the album, "Water Into Wine" & "Place In My Heart". The album, a combination of progressive rock, catchy upbeat pop, driving blues, acoustic, and soulful r & b, continues to break boundaries, attracting listeners from many age groups.

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During this time, he returned to live performances, and in 2005, shortly after the release of "Legacy of Love", recorded a live Jazz performance at the legendary Fitzgeralds Night Club in Berwyn, Illinois. titled "Live & Otherwise", which included previously unreleased studio recordings. Joining him in these performances were Val Leventhal & also Becca Kaufman, who hosted the "Singer-Songwriter Spotlight" events at Fitzgeralds .
Robert Kramer as "Dr. Bizarro" circa 1977<br> at Midwest Vans Truck-In, Monticello, Indiana.

Robert Kramer as "Dr. Bizarro" circa 1977
at Midwest Vans Truck-In, Monticello, Indiana.

The early days with the Dr Bizarro band were some of the best times of my life. We did it because we had the passion for music, although we never made a dime. ”

— Robert Kramer

"Invasion Of The Ignoroids" by Charles M. Young Rolling Stone article about the Midwest Vans Truck-In, Dr. Bizarro and the I.B.O.B. fanclub. (1977)

"Invasion Of The Ignoroids" by Charles M. Young Rolling Stone article about the Midwest Vans Truck-In, Dr. Bizarro and the I.B.O.B. fanclub. (1977)

The official logo of The International Brotherhood of Bizarros, the fan-club that arose around the Bizarro/Disgustos band

The official logo of The International Brotherhood of Bizarros, the fan-club that arose around the Bizarro/Disgustos band

Original Mothers Of Invention members Don Preston(l) & Bunk Gardner(r) with Robert at a 1999 Zappa tribute concert.

Original Mothers Of Invention members Don Preston(l) & Bunk Gardner(r) with Robert at a 1999 Zappa tribute concert.

Singer-Songwriter Val Leventhal, whos vocal and music talents have appeared on numerous Robert Kramer tracks.

Singer-Songwriter Val Leventhal, whos vocal and music talents have appeared on numerous Robert Kramer tracks.

Napoleon Murphy Brock & Robert Kramer<br>at the Legacy of Love album release party (2005)

Napoleon Murphy Brock & Robert Kramer
at the Legacy of Love album release party (2005)

"Working with Napoleon was a dream come true for me. He taught me many things during our recording session. One of the most important was the "space between the notes", to let the music breathe like it is a living thing...and it really is..I came to respect music as a gift I am given to share with others...music is a powerful and positive force, used correctly. I am proud to call him my friend..he made me a better musician..            
- Robert Kramer        

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Roberts' musical collaborations with other musicians have included Flyin' Ryan Bros master guitarist Jimmy Ryan, and also Rich Poston,(guitarist for Department of Revenge, Sonus Umbra and Origin of Animal) both of whom have appeared on numerous Kramer & Bizarro projects.
The Extended Play 3-song disc titled "The Place They Call New Orleans", the song inspired by Roberts' recent visit to THE BIG EASY,  "SPIRITS ON BOURBON", owned by Steve Smith & Brad Bohannon, was the bar referred to in the song. (Click the cover to visit SPIRITS website! )

The Extended Play 3-song disc titled "The Place They Call New Orleans", the song inspired by Roberts' recent visit to THE BIG EASY, "SPIRITS ON BOURBON", owned by Steve Smith & Brad Bohannon, was the bar referred to in the song. (Click the cover to visit SPIRITS website! )

Robert at Fitzgeralds Night Club

Robert at Fitzgeralds Night Club

Robert with Mrs. Meyer sporting an original Meyer hat from the famous Meyer The Hatter Shop in New Orleans.

Robert with Mrs. Meyer sporting an original Meyer hat from the famous Meyer The Hatter Shop in New Orleans.

From 2007 to 2013, he targeted his songwriting skills towards composing tracks for film and tv, having music placed in the popular CBS soap opera "The Young & The Restless", Byron Allens' Entertainment Studios and various video and independent film projects.

Following his release for 2017, "Shadow Logic" with styles ranging from pop/rock to pop to jazz, to rhythm & blues to reggae and stadium rock, Robert partnered with John Guerrini and is currently on a tour of the midwest doing a dueling piano act called "Double Treble".  He is also planning a new series of recording sessions to begin work on his next album, "Beyond The Great Divide".

 

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