The Eloquent One: Celebrating Rufus Reid, Harvard University Jazz Master in Residence


Saturday, April 9, 2016, 8:00pm


Sanders Theatre

Presented by: Office for the Arts and the Harvard Jazz Bands
Tickets: Full Price: $15.00; Students & Seniors (65+): $8.00; Outings & Innings: $10 ticket with Harvard ID
How to get tickets: The Harvard Box Office 617-496-2222
Listen to a radio interview with Rufus Reid>

A concert featuring Rufus Reid, the 2016 Harvard University Jazz Master in Residence, with the Harvard Jazz Bands. Yosvany Terry and Mark Olson, conductors.

Composer and bassist Rufus Reid, whose “luscious sound and buoyant swing can levitate an ensemble clear off the bandstand” (The New Yorker), is the 2016 Harvard University Jazz Master in Residence, sponsored by the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) and Harvard Jazz Bands (Yosvany Terry and Mark Olson, conductors).

“[Rufus Reid’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 toured and recorded with Eddie Harris, Nancy Wilson, Harold Land and Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Konitz, the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell, Kenny Barron and countless others. He continues to record, adding to his 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.


Wednesday, April 6, 4 pmA Conversation with Rufus Reid moderated by Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music. Holden Chapel, Harvard Yard, Cambridge. Presented by the OFA Learning From Performers program. Admission free (tickets or RSVPs not required); seating first-come, first served, subject to venue capacity.

Thursday-Friday, April 7-8, 7:30 & 9 PM: Fromm Players Concerts: Creative Music Convergences. Two evenings of concerts by composer/performers including Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman Octet, Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio, more. John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Music Building. Free, tickets/RSVPs not required; seating is first-come, first-served, subject to venue capacity.