Robert R. Acri

October 1, 1918July 25, 2013
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Robert R. Acri, 95, of Wilmette, IL passed away Thursday, July 25, 2013 at Evanston Hospital Evanston, IL. Private burial services will be held at Memorial Park Skokie, IL. There will be a public wake held 3pm-9pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home Wilmette, IL. Memorials may be made to North Shore University Health Systems Hospice; 4901 Searle Pkwy Skokie, IL 60076. Bob Acri has been recognized as one of the most versatile and talented pianists in America. At the young age of 17, he was hired to be the staff pianist with the NBC orchestra, one of Chicago’s most prestigious jobs at the time. There for nearly 20 years, he played for nationally-known artists, talk show hosts, and entertainers including Dave Garroway, Club 60, and Mike Douglas. He played with big band giant Harry James at a time when Buddy Rich was the drummer. Bob also toured as a member of Woody Herman’s Third Herd. Bob was frequently sought after to accompany countless star vocalists including Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, and Lena Horne. A classically trained musician, Bob composed and orchestrated music of various musical forms utilizing the full spectrum of instruments. A versatile writer, Bob was a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Classical Music Competition and also had a jazz composition featured in Down Beat magazine. At age 85, he collaborated with jazz titans Frank West, George Mraz, Lou Soloff, and Eddie Thigpen to cut a CD consisting mainly of Bob’s original compositions. His piece entitled ‘Sleep Away’ was selected by Microsoft to be an audio sample contained in the release of Windows 7. Throughout a career that lasted eight decades, Bob brought music to Chicago’s vast list of theaters, clubs, hotels, and just about every place with a piano. Bob is survived by Mary, his wife of 58 years, his sons Bob (Patty) and Jim (Amy), and seven grandchildren (Emily, Madeline, Carolyn, Bobby, Ryan, Charlie, and Megan).



  • Visitation Wednesday, July 31, 2013


  • Private Burial

Robert R. Acri

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May 24, 2017

For you, Bob.

Anastazia Scoon

May 24, 2017

I love sleep away by Bob acri and Bob was such a blessed and special man. We ain't forgot you, Bob. Love from me. :-)

Yulonda Hill

March 2, 2017

I just began listening to his music here at work on my computer. My heart broke when I saw that he had passed as I wanted to know more about him.

I love working and listening to his music.

God Bless and Rest His Soul

Joe Bob

August 30, 2015

A wonderful musician, and a wonderful man.

Adrian May

April 17, 2015

Thank you for your music, Robert. I will be doing my best to try to learn Sleep Away in remembrance of you and my grandfather that passed away when I was a child. Rest in peace and play on in heaven :)

kenra haley

January 22, 2015

your music made me smile when i was unhappy, thank you for everything, your music will live on forever.

September Reese

December 27, 2014

Thank you, Bob Acri, for the memory of timeless music created from your fingertips.
==Diane Perry==

JooHo Park

November 14, 2014

I recognized 'Sleep Away' was on my computer in 2012. And I felt really comfortable and relieved when lisetning to it. Two years later when I typed his name in Google, I knew he passed away last year. Thanks for the great song, and hope god bless you and your family. RIP.

September 21, 2014

Learned of him late in life, but quickly came to the conclusion one of the very best in the dying art of jzz. Will miss him, but listen to his music.

tony lemley

August 11, 2014

bob thanks for the song sleep away...takes me away to a place and time!