Bob Hartig

I'm a jazz saxophonist, storm chaser, self-employed editor and writer, and author of The Giant Steps Scratch Pad. West Michigan has been my home for most of my life. I reside in the small town of Caledonia southeast of Grand Rapids.

The name of this blog, Stormhorn, reflects my two passions of chasing the weather and playing the sax. Here's a bit about each.


I've been chasing storms for almost twenty years. My fascination with severe weather got its start when I was around four years old, when my father showed me some black-and-white plates of tornadoes in an old Encyclopaedia Brittanica. From that point on, I was hooked. In 1965, the notorious Palm Sunday Outbreak devastated communities just twenty-five miles from my boyhood home in Niles, Michigan. That event left a lasting impact on me and fueled my already practically monomanic interest in tornadoes. Later in life, I decided to do something about my lifelong obsession. I began chasing storms in 1996 and logged my first tornado intercept in August of that year near Saint Johns, Michigan. Since then, my passion for the beauty and drama of severe weather has taken me from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, to the vast sweep of the Dakotas, to the flatlands and hills of “Dixie Alley,” to the prairies of Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and other Midwestern states, and, of course, throughout Michigan. One of my life goals is to have a photo taken of me playing my saxophone out on the Great Plains while a massive wedge churns in the background! In the spring of 2011, I began chasing for WOOD TV8 as part of their Storm Team 8 chase team. I'm pleased to assist Storm Team 8 by providing mobile coverage of severe weather. It's a way to add an element of public value to my avocation as a storm chaser.


Shortly after I moved with my family to the Grand Rapids area at the age of 12, I began playing the alto sax. I've been in love with the instrument ever since. My musical experience spans over four decades, starting in eighth grade with a big band called The Formal Aires, in which I played lead alto through high school. The band provided me with an invaluable exposure to much of the standard jazz repertoire by such luminaries as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, and Tommy Dorsey. Following music studies at Aquinas College and Wayne State University, I gained practical experience in formats as diverse as jazz combos, studio horn sections, blues bands, black gospel choirs, church worship teams, and variety bands, in settings ranging from concerts to private parties to dinner clubs and more. You can check out some of my video clips and audio samples on my Jazz page, where you'll also find a list of some of the artists, bands, recordings, and events I've worked with. SHAMELESS PLUGS Purchase Eyes on Mars, my free-jazz CD created in collaboration with well-known West Michigan percussionist, composer, and producer Ric Troll. Also, if you're a jazz musician, pick up a copy of my book The Giant Steps Scratch Pad, available in Eb, Bb, C, and bass clef editions. A collection of 155 licks and patterns, the book is designed to help you develop the technique and creativity necessary in order to master Coltrane changes.

Contact Me

Email or call me to inquire about * Recording projects, private or company parties, wedding receptions, concerts, club dates, and other events. * Copywriting, freelance writing, or editing projects--articles, web content, brochures, book jackets, emails, blog content, catalogs, reviews, ad copy, proofreading, and more.