Our interview with jazz bass legend Rufus Reid, conducted by Win Hinkle, has proven to be one of our most popular episodes of Contrabass Conversations (along with our Steve Rodby interview, which was guest hosted by Kells Nollenberger–the popularity of these interviews shows that maybe I should stay off the mic!).
About Rufus Reid:
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 seriously 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.
The MidAtlantic Arts Foundation awarded Rufus The 2005 Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award for his dedication to America’s National Cultural Treasure: Jazz, for his personal and professional commitment to Jazz Education in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The International Society of Bassists presented Rufus with their highest honor, The Distinguished Achievement Award, in 2001. The New Jersey Chapter of the IAJE named him OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR of 1999. The International Association of Jazz Educators awarded Rufus the Humanitarian Award in 1997 BASS PLAYER magazine, awarded Rufus the 1998 Jazz Educator Achievement Award.