Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Composer/arranger Rob Mathes first surfaced playing guitar and keyboards behind Chuck Mangione; after writing songs covered by Kathy Mattea and others, his big break followed in 1996 when his "Star Bright" became the title track for Vanessa Williams' holiday LP. Mathes also arranged many of the album's performances and lent vocal and instrumental backing to the sessions, and the results earned Williams a Grammy nomination. Mathes himself, meanwhile, went on to serve as a conductor and guitarist at Luciano Pavarotti's "For War Child" benefit mounted in honor of the Bosnian relief effort and headlined by Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sheryl Crow and others; in 1998, he also arranged the "Pavarotti and Friends" benefit. Around the same time he collaborated with the likes of Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Elton John and Boyz II Men; in late 1998 he issued Christmas Is Coming, an album credited to Rob Mathes & Very Special Friends, among them Williams, David Sanborn and Michael McDonald.