RUFUS REID is one of today’s premiere bassists on the international jazz scene, with his reputation firmly established in the education arena, now adds composition to his vitae. Rufus participated in the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop for five years which has empowered him to move more deeply into the composing arena. He has written for string orchestra, jazz ensembles large and small, concert band, double bass ensemble pieces, and a solo bass composition. Mass Transit, Rufus’ three-movement symphony orchestra composition, was premiered in 2011. Also premiered that year was the orchestral arrangement of Reid’s Caress The Thought with soloist, Joe Guastafeste, retired principal bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Reid composed Caress The Thought as a solo piece for the bass virtuoso, Diana Gannett, who has performed it several times and recorded it on her 2015 CD Artemis in the Oak Grove with pianist Ellen Rowe.
Quiet Pride, a five-movement work for large jazz ensemble, inspired by the sculptures of the artist, Elizabeth Catlett, was premiered in 2012 at the Shaw Center for the Performing Arts, in Baton Rouge, LA. This special event had Elizabeth’s gorgeous artwork in residence. This suite of music was recorded by a large hand-picked ensemble, including 2 French horn and vocals, conducted by Dennis Mackrel. Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project was released to rave reviews by Motéma Music in Feb 2014. This CD received two nominations for the 57th GRAMMY Awards ~ Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition for ‘Recognition’ the first movement of this suite. Rufus continues to present this music in Universities with Catlett’s work on view. He also presents this professional large ensemble as at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, NYC, in November 2014, and at The Jazz Standard, NYC, February 2015
Rufus Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator. Dr. Martin Krivin and Reid created the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University. Reid retired after 20 years, but continues to teach, conducting Master Classes, workshops, and residencies around the world.
Rufus’ 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. In December 2003, The Evolving Bassist DVD was released. This two and one half hour DVD also offers a Concert view, featuring Mulgrew Miller and Lewis Nash.
Rufus Reid’s major professional career began in Chicago and continued 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 enjoy associations with Tim Hagans, Bob Mintzer, Frank Wess, Marvin Stamm, Benny Golson.
Reid continues to lead his Out 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. “Hues” (Hues of a Different Blue) should be considered a sterling, definitive examplar 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
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. During that period he began to be interested in the bass. After fulfilling his duties in the military, Rufus had decided he wanted to pursue 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.
Rufus’s most recent acclaimed recording is Celebration with the Sirius String Quartet.
Rufus Reid continues to be THE EVOLVING BASSIST!


A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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