A man playing a voice guitar and singing into a microphone. Behind him is a man playing on drums and a man playing the guitar.
Bobby Jorgenson, a guitarist, bassist and vocalist, plays in four bands and has performed at events at VCU. (Kevin Morley, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

Meet-a-Ram: Bobby Jorgenson, a facilities staff member and accomplished musician

By day this facilities management employee keeps VCU running. After clocking out, he’s busy playing in four bands and running a music production company.

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Editor’s note: Meet-a-Ram is an occasional VCU News series about the students, faculty, staff and alumni who make Virginia Commonwealth University such a dynamic place to live, work and study.

Bobby Jorgenson, a lead plumbing specialist for facilities management, is known around campus as a friendly face and helpful hand. After hours, Jorgenson is more known for his musical talents.

He plays in four bands and runs his own production company. The best known of his musical groups is the Bart Chucker Band, while he’s been playing with Mozo for the longest – more than 23 years. In addition to playing around town, he’s also performed at events at VCU. Jorgenson is a guitarist, bassist and vocalist.

What made you start playing music and why have you continued playing music all your life after that?

I remember my dad playing guitar from an early age, and they actually gave me my first guitar when I was 3-years-old. My dad got a new one for Christmas and they gave me his old one. It had a big crack in it, so basically as a play toy I'm sure, but that was my first guitar.

I still remember it. And they both said I was singing before I could talk. 

It’s just a lifelong passion. Just the emotion and the expressiveness that you can get out of playing or listening to music, so it's always been a big part of my life.

You've been a part of the band Mozo for more than 23 years. How has your music evolved over time, and what has kept all of you playing together?

[The band members] have been friends for years. The drummer and the guitar player have actually been playing music together since they were in grade school, so I was fortunate enough to be brought into this group. But we've been just good friends for 20-plus years on and off the stage.

I definitely have improved as far as technique and everything goes. It's gotten better over the years. Playing newer music and listening to the newer music helps evolve things and being involved in writing new music actually is a big thing too.

In addition to playing in four bands and working at VCU you also own your own sound company. What inspired you to start it?

Mostly to be able to pay for the sound gear to be able to play. That's a necessary evil kind of to help pay for the equipment and the bills and keep me working when I don't have an actual show that I'm playing.

What is your biggest inspiration for writing new songs?

A little bit of everything. People I meet, events going on in the world – ideas can come from all over the place.

What do you enjoy about working at VCU on the facilities management team?

It's a great group of people to work with. We help each other out, even with personal things at home and stuff like that. If my buddy has a plumbing issue at home, I'll be happy to help out my work friends here. It's a very close-knit group of people.

My mother and my stepfather both worked here for years, so it's kind of a family thing too.

You've played at several VCU events, what does it mean to you to combine your musical life with your job?

Oh, that's like a dream come true. If I can do my music at my regular job that's always a bonus. And I enjoy playing for my friends and co-workers too. A lot of them had heard me talk about [my music] for years and had never been able to see me play until I got out here and played at VCU, so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Do you have any future goals for your musical career?

At some point I would like to make it my full-time job, but that's probably going to be after I retire [from VCU].

What's some advice you'd give to someone who wants to pursue music?

I always say never give up on it, but always have something extra to fall back on. I've had a lot of friends who thought they were going to make a career just playing music and never had another career to be able to fall back on or into. [Another] very important thing is finding the right people to play music with.