a conversation with composer/bassist RUFUS REID

Date: 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 4:00pm

Location: 

Holden Chapel, Harvard Yard

Composer and bassist Rufus ReidPresented by: Learning From Performers
Tickets: Free (tickets or RSVPs not required); seating first-come, first-served subject to venue capacity.
Location map: Holden Chapel
Listen to a radio interview with Rufus Reid>

Rufus Reid, whose “luscious sound and buoyant swing can levitate an ensemble clear off the bandstand” (The New Yorker), is the 2016 Harvard Jazz Master in Residence. He has toured and recorded with Nancy Wilson, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell and countless others, and his recording “Quiet Pride—the Elizabeth Catlett Project” (Motema Music), earned two GRAMMY nominations in 2015. Equally known as an exceptional educator, Reid co-founded the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University. He will discuss his career and creative process during a conversation moderated by Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music.

On Saturday, April 9, 8 pm at Sanders Theatre, Rufus Reid will appear as guest artist in “The Eloquent One: Celebrating Rufus Reid,” a tribute concert featuring the Harvard Jazz Bands. Tickets are $15, students and seniors $8, available through the Harvard Box Office or by calling 617.496.2222 (phone and online orders subject to service fees). Free parking is available at the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton St.


Rufus Ried's work is a virtual catalog of modern bass technique, tempered by his infallible musicianship. The man has taste...he consistently offers up an earthy tone, flawless intonation, and fluid finger work. Plus, you can set the clock by his impeccable time.” (DownBeat). Born in 1944 in Atlanta and raised in Sacramento, California, where he played the trumpet in school, Rufus Reid graduated from Northwestern University with a performance degree in double bass, having studied with Warren Benfield and Joseph Guastefeste of the Chicago Symphony.

Reid has an extensive catalogue of recordings, eighteen of which are under his own name. Of “Hues of a Different Blue” (Motema, 2011)—which includes his composition “The Eloquent One”—Mark Keresman of Jazz Inside magazine wrote: “‘Hues’ should be considered a sterling, definitive exemplar of what an ideal jazz album should be—fabulous musicianship in service of the music, expansive tunes played with succinctness and restraint and variety.”

In recent years, Reid has become a composer and bandleader, including writing for string orchestra, jazz ensembles, concert bands, double bass ensembles, and solo bass. His ambitious project, “Quiet Pride—the Elizabeth Catlett Project” (Motema Music, 2014), an homage to the visual artist, is in five movements for 20-piece orchestra. It earned two GRAMMY nominations in 2015.

Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator. He and Dr. Martin Krivin created the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University, with notable faculty and a focus on small ensemble performance. Reid retired after 20 years but continues to teach, conducting master classes, workshops, and residencies around the world. His book, “The Evolving Bassist,” published in 1974, continues to be recognized as the industry standard for the definitive bass method.