Bobby was born in a cozy hospital bed in an old communistic hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the end of the hippie era (1979). Although his parents weren’t hippies, he was raised in a rather liberal environment, but he didn’t really give a damn about music until his cousin polluted his ears with “heavy metal” at the age of 14. After that he instinctively started banging on his mother’s living room chairs, for which he received a series of good spankings. After his mother saw he wouldn’t really stop, she found him a drum teacher. The guy was very cool and for two years he struggled to make little Bobby hold the sticks right. As soon as he succeeded Bobby started to play in all them garage rock bands.
In 1998 Bobby was discovered by the vocalist of a pop-rock band called “Slang” and he joined the band to play in dance clubs 4 days a week. Before they knew it “Slang” became famous and the guys were surrounded by a bunch of screaming chicks who wanted to tear off their clothes. When his mum saw him on TV, she was convinced that he wanted to bang for a living.
After a while he grew tired of all the chicks chasing him, so Bobby left “Slang” and joined some other fellows with whom he formed the folk-fusion band “Brainstorm”. They wanted to play music for musicians, and not for chicks. Bad choice! Their bank accounts became tinier and tinier every day but everyone visited their concerts – from intellectuals to gypsy wedding musicians.
Attracted by tulips, he headed for Holland to study jazz drumming in the American jazz school in Groningen. His teacher – the great Ralph Peterson – kicked his butt so hard that he couldn’t sit down for weeks. Eventually he learned how to swing and Ralph was very pleased with him.
After having played loud solos over and over again in every pub in Groningen, Bobby decided to move to Amsterdam to join the Master program at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. There he studied with Martijn Vink, Lucas van Merwijk and Joost van Schaik.
His energetic approach to music and his drive and great talent could not remain hidden for long and soon he started playing with herds of musicians: Benjamin Herman, Jesse van Ruler, Eric Vloeimans, Izaline Calister, Dimitar Bodurov, Martin Fondse, Alex Simu, Franz von Chossy, Joris Roelofs, Esra Dalfidan, Yaniv Nachum, Mappi Quintana, Kestutis Viginis and many more.
Inspired by his cultural heritage he incorporated Bulgarian rhythms into jazz and wrote a thesis on the matter. His final exam in 2007 was rewarded with a 9,5 and led to the birth of the Modern Balkan Big Band, arranged and directed by Alex Simu. Since September 2010 Bobby is enrolled in the doctoral program in musical arts – docARTES – in Gent, together with colleague Tony.
Other groups that Mr Bobby Petrov is involved with are Bobby Petrov Band, Tarhana, Theodossii Spassov Quartet, Amsterdam Jazz Orchestra, Franz von Chossy Trio, Suna Quintet, Stageband, Renske Taminiau & Band.