Artist • Recording Artist
As an Aesthetic Education Teaching Artist, Robbi K has created a new kind of artistic presentation, which successfully combines music, theater, and culture with a worldview that is informative and inclusive of all people. For years, she has been a major force in bringing a sense of the world community to children’s musical theater. Robbi sings and speaks English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
Her powerful lyric soprano has graced TV commercials for the likes of Coca Cola, Lincoln Mercury, and GE, while also establishing an active career as a back-up singer for such superstars as Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Jewel, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Daniel Rodriquez, Mary J. Blige, and Harry Belafonte. With these stars, Robbi has appeared on Oprah, 60 Minutes, Rosie, Live with Regis & Kathy Lee, The View, VH1 Storytellers, The Today Show, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Robbi is married to Grammy-winning bassist Bakithi Kumalo, whose longstanding association with Paul Simon is a story unto itself. Robbi K has released three children’s CD’s: Set It Free and Keep the Beat (honored with a Parents’ Choice Award), and most recently, Music Makes Me Happy, a 2007 Parents’ Choice Silver Award winner, a Children’s Music Web Award winner, and an iParenting Outstanding product award.
Audience and Press Reviews
“Story-teller Robbi Kumalo used drums to touch the hearts of children and adults during the performance Saturday at Dutchess Community College's Dutchess Hall Theater. Kumalo had the audience dancing, clapping and making animal noises to assist her in telling the West African folk tale of how the turtle got a shell on its back” – Anthony Farmer, Poughkeepsie Journal
“KEEP THE BEAT! A 2003 Award Winner!” – Parents’ Choice Foundation
“A pure potpourri of feel-good tunes excellently arranged and performed by top-flight musicians. Robbi K & Friends will have you smiling and dancing from the first downbeat.” — John Wood, Kidzmusic.com
“A unique voice in children’s music.” — Disney’s FamilyFun Magazine “Robbi has sung backup for artists ranging from Jewel to Aretha Franklin ... The overall effort is so rewarding and well performed that parents should just groove out." — Time Out NY Kids
“Songs that rock, and are kid friendly, too.” — NY Times
“A wonderful introduction to African rhythms. This CD was a wonderful introduction to African rhythms by both the drummer & singer. The animal & drum story plus the song "Keep the Beat" were enjoyed by both our 3 1/2 & 7 year old boys. Thanks." — Lois Brodsky, CDBaby customer review
“My kids and I love to sing along with Robbi! Robbi came to the elementary school I work in. I've never seen the kids so excited and energized! Now I have the CD and my kids and I enjoy listening to it. We dance and sing! Thanks Robbi!" — Donna M., CDBaby customer review
“Fabulous!!! I got the beat and kept it ever since I heard this cd! This cd is all you need for your children's musical library! WE NEED MORE WITH ROBBI K!!!!" — Susan Nekrutman, CDBABY customer review