Jazz bassist Rufus Reid to bring energy, education to Columbia

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | 12:57 p.m. CST; updated 5:47 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Reid is a jazz basist coming to Columbia. He will perform at The Blue Note and visit the high schools and MU.

COLUMBIA — Rufus Reid, a renowned jazz bassist and composer, said he is excited to work with student musicians in Columbia and to collaborate with the MU Concert Jazz Band during his upcoming trip to Columbia.

Reid's trio, which includes pianist Steve Allee and percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca, will makes appearances Sunday through Tuesday as part of "We Always Swing" Jazz Series.

If you go

Rufus Reid Trio with MU Concert Jazz Band

When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth St.
Cost: $16 to $30

"History of Jazz Bass" with Rufus Reid

When: noon to 1 p.m. Monday
Where: Friends Room, Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway
Cost: Free

Reid, who described his trip to Columbia as a “multifaceted visit,” will be busy during his stay with events private and public. He will play a concert at The Blue Note, give an interactive lecture about jazz music and conduct master classes with two area high schools and for MU jazz studies students.

During the concert, Reid and his trio will team up with the MU Concert Jazz Band to perform and conduct for about an hour.

In the second part of the evening, the Rufus Reid Trio will play alone. Reid described the trio’s performance as “exciting, with a lot of energy and a lot of interplay.” They will be playing music from their new album, including a few Latin-flavored pieces inspired by the group’s Brazilian percussionist.

Reid will share his wide scope of jazz knowledge when he discusses the history of jazz bass Monday. His presentation will include a demonstration with his instrument as well as audio clips from some of the great jazz bassists of the past.

The Rufus Reid Trio will visit Hickman High School on Monday and Rock Bridge High School on Tuesday for master classes, or clinics, with the jazz bands. Reid said he sees the classes as an opportunity to invest in the next generation of jazz music.

Reid has been a leader in jazz education since 1971. From 1979 to 1999 he taught and was the director of jazz studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

“I was inspired by people when I was young, and hopefully I can do the same to those who have that passion,” he said. “You have to have passion to do almost anything well.”

Steve Mathews, band director at Rock Bridge, said the clinics led by the Rufus Reid Trio are a great opportunity for students to interact with accomplished musicians and learn from the expertise they have to offer.

“He (Reid) is one of the best jazz bassists ever, and for the kids to be in his presence and work with him will better what they do,” Mathews said.

This will be Reid’s third visit to Columbia but his first time collaborating with the MU Concert Jazz Band. Loyd Warden, jazz studies teaching assistant, said the music department is looking forward to meeting Reid, whom he described as a “pioneer of upright bass.”

Reid and his trio will meet with the MU jazz students again during a master class at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the MU School of Music. Warden said all students are welcome to sit in on the session.

Warden stressed that Reid’s visit is an opportunity for students and all jazz enthusiasts in Columbia to meet one of the most esteemed jazz musicians there is. “Rufus is legendary,” he said. “He’s been around jazz education since the beginning.”

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