Mr. Alley is a lover of art and the artistic mind set. For Rob, “Art is not a genre, it is an attitude toward activity.” As a result, he enjoys learning rules. But he also really enjoys breaking them. Therefore, as a musician and an educator, he lives in and outside of convention, depending on his collaborators.
Rob loves working with other artists. He also loves showing so-called non-artistic people how they can recover their innate artistic capability. “With understanding and practice, we can all infuse art into our everyday activities, recapturing the joy of freedom from childhood, responsibly and ethically. This feeling and these capabilities never leave us. We just learn to ignore them as we ‘grow up’.”
Rob maintains a robust performing career, having had the good fortune to have made music with some amazing people, including Jason Isbell, Paul Shaffer, Dave Douglas, Taylor Hicks, The Temptations, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Frankie Valli, Chad Fisher, Matthew Devine, Jay Frederick, Eric Essix, Rick Carter, The Arkansas Symphony, and The Tuscaloosa Horns. He is also honored to have been awarded recognition for his efforts, including The Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist award (2008), The Alabama Council on The Arts Individual Artist award (2013), and Druid Arts Musician of The Year (2015).
All of these experiences have led Rob to the current step in his journey through life, as an instructor in The University of Alabama’s Honors College, where he teaches “Art for Life’s Sake”, “Leadership Lessons from Jazz”, and “Improvisation in Life Through Music”, courses which he created at the request of the College. Each of these focus on, and express, his philosophy on the arts and life in their own unique way.