Bassist Rufus Reid and the Out Front Trio are visiting Nashville the weekend of March 27 and 28. Reid who just received two Grammy nominations for his large-ensemble composition and recording Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project, will appear at the Nashville Jazz Workshop for evening performances on Friday and Saturday and a day of workshops on Saturday. His trio-mates, pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka DaFonseca, noted artists and educators in the own right, will also present workshops.
In the past five years Reid, a first-call bassist who has appeared as a sideman on countless recordings over the past 30+ years, has established himself as a bandleader and composer. The Quiet Pride project was inspired by the sculpture of the late Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), with each of five movements inspired by one of her pieces.
Above, sculptures by Elizabeth Catlett. From left, Glory, Singing Head, Mother and Child.
Ms. Catlett, a noted African-American artist who spent much of her career teaching in Mexico, exhibited frequently throughout the U.S. Nashville’s Fisk University hosted an exhibition of her works and houses one of her pieces in its permanent collection. Dr. Victor Simmons, Director of Art Galleries at Fisk, notes that Ms. Catlett had an especially strong connection to Fisk because of her close friendship with Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas, a former Fisk Professor.
Rufus Reid is also a prominent educator. He co-creator of the Jazz Studies and Performance program at William Patterson University in New Jersey and was Professor there for 20 years. Students there have included noted guitarist Peter Bernstein (a visitor to Nashville last year) and Nashville guitarist Pat Bergeson. Reid’s book, The Evolving Bassist, is a standard text for students of jazz bass.
Reid workshop, Who’s Minding the Store, focuses on the importance of the bass as well as other rhythm section players in providing the foundation for jazz performance. He will present this workshop at 10am Saturday as part of the day’s educational sessions. The other morning workshops will be Steve Allee’s Harmonic Approaches and Duduka DaFonseca’s Brazilian Rhythms.
At 1:30 the entire trio will present a workshop, Inside the Rhythm Section. Jazz Workshop organizers note that the day’s workshops are not instrument-specific, and are suitable for all musicians.
The Rufus Reid Out Front Trio will give 8pm concerts Friday and Saturday evenings at the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Cave. The concerts will feature selections from the Trio’s extensive repertoire of creative arrangements and original compositions, and will also include selections from the Quiet Pride project.
The weekend’s events are presented through a grant from South Arts, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Advance tickets for both the performances and workshops are on sale through the Jazz Workshop’s website. Ticket information is available at rufusreid.nashvillejazz.org.