For several years, Rufus has been taking the lead as a bandleader, and this ambitious project showcases his evolution, putting the emphasis on his compositional skills. “Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project” was released Feb 11, 2014, one day after his 70th birthday! The Quiet Pride CD showcases handpicked stellar professionals and earned two GRAMMY nominations in the 57th GRAMMY Awards of 2015.
Rufus was awarded The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Composition in 2008. He has received three MacDowell Colony Awards for Composition, which helped him complete his commissions. Lake Tyrrell In Innisfree was commissioned by The Raleigh Civic Symphony and performed by them in 2017. Reid’s three-movement symphony orchestra composition, Mass Transit, was premiered in 2011, by The Idyllwild Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Askim. Reid has also written for string orchestra, jazz ensembles large and small, concert bands, double bass ensemble pieces and solo bass compositions. Caress The Thought (solo bass) was composed for bass virtuoso, Diana Gannett, and recorded on her 2015 CD, “Artemis in the Oak Grove.” The orchestral arrangement of Reid’s Caress The Thought was performed in 2011 with soloist Joe Guastafeste, retired principle bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Rufus Reid’s major professional career began in Chicago and continues since 1976 in New York City. He has toured and recorded with Eddie Harris, Nancy Wilson, Harold Land & Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Konitz, The Thad Jones & 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 discography. “Terrestrial Dance” released only on vinyl by Newvelle Records (2017), features his “Out Front” Trio with The Sirius Quarter.
Reid continues to lead his “Our Front” Trio with pianist, Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca. He released “Out Front ~ The Rufus Reid Trio” on Motéma Records in 2010. Reid recorded with this trio again, adding guests, Bobby Watson, Freddie Hendrix, JD Allen, and Toninho Horta, releasing “Hues of a Different Blue” on Motéma in 2011.
Editor’s Pick The musicianship is at such a high level that you cannot help but be pulled into this exceptional music, going far beyond the pale of most regular piano/bass/drums trios, led by the succinct, deft, and consistently brilliant bass playing of Reid, easily one of the top five bassists in modern jazz. ~Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide (2010)
“Hues” (Hues of a Different Blue) 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.” ~Mark Keresman – Jazz Inside Magazine
Rufus Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator. Dr. Martin Krivin and Reid created the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University. This program the first professional academically accredited Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies in the NY, NJ, CT, Tristate area. Reid retired after 20 years, but continues to teach, conducting Master Classes, workshops, and residencies around the world.
Reid’s book, The Evolving Bassist, published since 1974, continues to be recognized as the industry standard as the definitive bass method. January 2000, the book’s Millennium Edition was published. The Evolving Bassist DVD was released in 2003. This two and one half hour DVD also offers a Concert view, featuring Mulgrew Miller and Lewis Nash. It is now available for download only at Alfred Music.
Born on February 10, 1944 in Atlanta, GA., Rufus Reid was raised in Sacramento, California where he played the trumpet through junior high and high school. Upon graduation from Sacramento High School, he entered the United States Air Force as a trumpet player. After fulfilling his duties in the military, Rufus pursued a career as a professional bassist. He moved to Seattle, Washington, where he began serious study with James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony. He continued his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied with Warren Benfield and principal bassist, Joseph Guastefeste, both of the Chicago Symphony. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Degree as a Performance Major on the Double Bass.