CBC 87: Rufus Reid interview


We’re featuring an interview with jazz bassist Rufus Reid on this week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations. This interview was conducted by guest host Win Hinkle, a former member of the Florida Symphony Orchestra (this orchestra dissolved in 1993) who also worked in Florida as a trombonist, electric bassist, and double bassist, including a lot of time at Walt Disney World.

Rufus Reid is, without a doubt, one of the most influential bassists working in jazz today, and he has had a significant impact on double bass performance and pedagogy throughout his career. His book The Evolving Bassist was one of the earliest of the contemporary generation of double bass method books, and it continues to be a foundational text for double bass students. I recommend it to all of my students who are interested in jazz, and I use many of his exercises for arco study and sight reading practice even with students who only study classical music.

We’re also featuring Rufus Reid and bassist Michael Moore performing All Blues from their album Double Bass Delights, as well as some listener feedback, bass news, a link of the week, and much more. Check out more recordings of Rufus in various settings on his website’s recordings page. Enjoy!

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.

About Win Hinkle:

Win Hinkle is dedicated double bassist and a former trombonist spending 17 seasons with the Florida Symphony Orchestra in Orlando, until its demise in April of 1993. He worked as a double bassist, bass guitarist, and trombonist for many years in Florida including a lot of time at Walt Disney World. He recently sold his last bass guitar and only plays the double bass. He currently lives in Boston but still tries to spend time in time in Florida, especially in the Winter months.

Link of the Week:


Music Provided by:

Special thanks to Daniel Chmielinski for technical assistance – www.carsleuth.net

Show Notes:

Release Date: 7/12/08

Length: 51:58

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About Jason

An active double bass performer and teacher, Jason teaches double bass at DePaul University and served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists for many years. Jason is the current President of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Jason has been a member of the Elgin Symphony since 2000 and has played with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County for the past decade. He is a past member of the Milwaukee Ballet and IRIS Orchestra, and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.

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