VACAVILLE — The teacher is ready to be taught.
On Aug. 23, Robbie Jimenez leaves to study at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Three days prior, he will perform before family, friends and the hometown crowd and introduce his new album, “Invincible.”
Jimenez, 20, is a self-taught musician who had no formal training until this year. And, then, it was in music theory to help him prepare for college auditions.
Now, the Will C Wood High School graduate — and veteran of several local bands –just wants to sit down with someone who will tell him “you are doing this wrong and let me help you.”
On Tuesday, about 25 people were treated to a sneak peek rehearsal with Jiminez and his band that will perform Aug. 20 in a concert sponsored by the Young Artists Conservatory of Music, where Jimenez teaches bass guitar.
Funds raised will be applied toward his college education. Jimenez has a partial scholarship for The University of the Arts.
“He has so much talent,” said Wanda Cook, director of the Young Artists Conservatory of Music.
It’s also easy to feel his passion for music, Cook added.
Jimenez has played in many area bands, including Budapeg, Body Electric (now Built by Stereo) and most recently the Crosson Brothers.
“I was always the bass player in the background,” Jimenez told those at the Tuesday rehearsal. “I’m fine with that.”
Then, he began falling “in love even more with music and that turned me into a songwriter. I never saw myself as ‘Mr Solo Artist,’ ” he said. He added that just hearing his songs come to life is the ultimate high.
Jimenez has perfect pitch, which he considers his greatest musical strength. As a result he can identify a given musical note without the benefit of external reference. It works in tandem with synesthesia, where Jiminez hears a pitch and then sees a color.
“It’s involuntary,” he said.
As an example, a “g” note generally projects the color green into his head.
Jimenez didn’t start playing music until his freshman year in high school when he picked up the guitar. Eventually he moved on to the bass, despite misgivings about it early on.
“I despised the bass until I realized how groovy and funky it was,” he said.
He plans on returning to Vacaville over holiday and summer breaks. Beyond learning, Jimenez isn’t sure what he wants to do when he finishes college, although writing movie scores is one idea he’s contemplating.
It’s hard for him to leave some things behind in his hometown. Jimenez directed the Will C. Wood Sylvan Stringers as well as a rock band at the Young Artists Conservatory of Music.
He knows he’s leaving both in good hands, he said.
And, he feels he owes himself another chance at college.
“I attended Solano Community College and I didn’t do well because I didn’t believe in myself,” he said. “A year later, I was still in Vacaville and thought, ‘I should have tried harder.’ ”
“I’m going to try it and give it everything I’ve got,” he added.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]