Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Band: El Negro & Robby
Genres: Afro-Cuban, Latin
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Growing up near New York City, Robby Ameen experienced jazz firsthand in clubs and on the streets in his neighborhood. In high school, teacher Ed Blackwell exposed Robby Ameen to more even more jazz rhythms. While earning his literature degree at Yale University, Robby Ameen studied classical perfusion with Fred Hinger. Despite all of these influences and even Robby's Lebanese heritage, his speciality is Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Robby Ameen moved to New York and almost immediately began recording with Latin luminaries like Dave Valentin and Ruben Blades. In 1984 Robby Ameen recorded New Faces with Dizzy Gillespie. Robby Ameen went on to record with Latin artists Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria, Hilton Ruiz, and Daniel Ponce. He also toured with Willie Colon, Paquito DíRivera, Gato Barbieri, DLG, and Marc Anthony.

Robby Ameen has been touring and recording with producer/composer Kip Hanrahan for more than twenty years. Robby Ameen also worked closely with Paul Simon on his show 'Capeman,' through long rehearsals, recordings, and the show itelf. Robby and Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez created the El Negro & Robby Band, recorded three albums, and toured teogether in support of those albums.

Robby Ameen is also an instructor. He co-wrote Funkifying the Clave: Afro-Cuban Grooves for Bass and Drums with Lincoln Goines. Recently, they created a video companion for the text. Robby Ameen offers clinics around the world at events like Modern Drummer Day, NAMM, and PAS. He also frequently records for television, movies, and commercials.

Throughout April of 2008, Robby performed with Paul Simon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1981 Endlessly Dizzy Gillespie
1982 Sueno Eddie Palmieri
1985 New Faces Dizzy Gillespie
1985 Escenas Ruben Blades
1987 Aqua de Luna Ruben Blades
1987 Mind Time Dave Valentin
1988 Nothing But the Truth Ruben Blades
1988 Live at the Blue Note Dave Valentin
1988 Days & Nights of Blue Luck Kip Hanrahan
1988 Love for Sale Bill OíConnell
1989 Strut Hilton Ruiz
1989 Switchback Scott Cossu
1990 Two Amigos Dave Valentin
1990 LightStruck Dave Valentin
1990 Jungle Garden Dave Valentin
1990 Kalahari Dave Valentin
1990 Tenderness Kip Hanrahan
1991 Caminando Ruben Blades
1991 Musical Portraits Dave Valentin
1991 Swallow Steve Swallow
1991 Chango Te Llama Daniel Ponce
1991 Midnight in San Juan Earl Klugh
1992 Love and Control Ruben Blades
1992 Red Sun Dave Valentin
1992 Decisions Seis Del Solar
1992 Donít Call Me Buckwheat Garland Jeffreys
1993 Tropic Heat Dave Valentin
1993 Exotica Kip Hanrahan
1994 Darn It! Kip Hanrahan
1994 Palmas Eddie Palmieri
1995 Alternate Roots Seis Del Solar
1995 All Roads Are Made of the Flesh Kip Hanrahan
1995 Cab Calloway Stands InÖ Conjure
1995 Momentum Mobile Michael Riessler
1995 Mongo Returns Mongo Santamaria
1995 Soundtracks & Jazz Tunes Carlos Franzetti
1996 Primitive Passions Dave Valentin
1996 A Thousand NightsÖ Red Nights Kip Hanrahan
1997 Honig und Asche Michael Riessler
1997 Songs from the Capeman Paul Simon
1998 A Thousand Nights... Shadow Nights Kip Hanrahan
1998 El Rumbero del Piano Eddie Palmieri
1999 Sunshower Dave Valentin
1999 A Thousand NightsÖ Shadow Nights 2 Kip Hanrahan
1999 Cambucha Milton Cardona
1999 Cowboy Rumba Ned Sublette
2000 Drawn from Memory Kip Hanrahan
2001 A Calm in the Fire of Dances Deep Rumba
2001 This Night Becomes a Rumba Rumba Profunda
2001 Shadows in the Air Jack Bruce
2001 21 Broken Melodies Alfredo Triff
2001 Yo Silvana de Luigi
2002 Pinero Kip Hanrahan
2002 Best Chie Ayado
2002 My Life Chie Ayado
2002 Parallax Rob deBellis
2003 Ritmo Caliente Eddie Palmieri
2003 More Jack than God Jack Bruce
2003 Shine Chie Ayado
2004 At the Third World War: La Nimba No Es Como Ayer El Negro & Robby
2005 Onto the Street El Negro & Robby
2005 Crossover Dreams Ruben Blades
2005 GRP Christmas Dave Valentin
2005 Electric Landlady Kirsty MacColl
2006 Live Ruben Blades


  • Robby performed with Paul Simon in a VH1 Storytellers Special on Capeman.
  • Robby was the drummer for Sex and the City during its first few seasons.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Pearl
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Pearl
Heads: Remo
Percussion: Latin Percussion
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips