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News and Media

Jazz Bassist Rufus Reid Teaches, Performs at Oberlin

Mar. 01, 2012

Andrew Willens


Oberlin, OH (March 1, 2012) – Rufus Reid, one of today’s premiere jazz bassists, will teach and perform at Oberlin next week, March 8 – 10. The weekend will kick off with a public forum on Thursday at Clonick Hall in the Kohl Building, followed by an afternoon composers’ workshop on Friday. On Saturday, Reid will present a double bass master class at 1 p.m., as well as perform in a collaborative concert with the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble at 8 p.m., in Finney Chapel. Admission to all events is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

(Please see below for a full schedule of events.)

Though he’s best known as a bassist, Reid’s talent is panoramic, according to Peter Dominguez, professor of jazz studies and double bass, and he represents the elite level of performers and teachers that frequently engage Oberlin’s jazz students in workshops and master classes.

“Rufus has been on the table to come here for many years,” Dominguez says. “He’s in that long line of performers we’ve brought that can wear many hats and devote a lot of their time to jazz studies. He’s a real important bassist, educator, and distinguished composer, and can affect a lot of different students in our department.”

Reid’s renown as an educator stems from his authorship of The Evolving Bassist, which continues to be recognized as the industry-standard jazz bass method, and his leadership in the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University. Though Reid has retired from his 20-year career as an educator, he continues to teach master classes, workshops, and in residencies around the world.

Recently, Reid has also had success as a composer. His five-year participation in the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop has enabled him to write for string orchestra, large and small jazz ensembles, concert band, double bass ensembles and solo bass. He premiered a three movement orchestral composition, Mass Transit, as well as an orchestral arrangement of “Caress The Thought,” in 2011, and will premiere a pair of large-ensemble works inspired by the sculptures of Elizabeth Catlett in 2012.

As a bassist, Reid began his studies with James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony, as well as Warren Benfield and Joseph Guastefeste of the Chicago symphony, after fulfilling service in the U.S. Air Force. He has toured and recorded with such notable artists as Dexter Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, J.J. Johnson, and Eddie Harris, continues to enjoy associations with Tim Hagans, Benny Golson, and others, and is currently based out of New York City, where he leads the “Out Front” Trio with pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca.

Rufus Reid at Oberlin Conservatory

All events are free, and no tickets are required
Thursday, March 8, 12 p.m.
Kohl Building, Clonick Hall
173 West Lorain Street
General Forum

Friday, March 9, 1:30 p.m.
Bibbins Hall, Room 339
77 West College Street
Composers’ Workshop

Saturday, March 10, 1-3 p.m.
Finney Chapel
90 N. Professor Street
Bass Masterclass

Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m.
Finney Chapel
Concert with Oberlin Jazz Ensemble

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