Free jazz master class offered at SUNY Orange

Scott Reeves, Jim Ridl, and Andy Watson will talk about their profession and demonstrate their instruments


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  • Andy Watson (photo provided)




  • Jim Ridl (Photo provided)




  • Scott Reeves (Photo provided)




— Three musicians will lead the free master class "How to Play Jazz" at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in Orange Hall, Room 23, at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues on the campus of SUNY Orange in Middletown.

Scott Reeves (trombone and alto flugelhorn), Jim Ridl (piano), and Andy Watson (drums) will talk about their profession and how they got there. They will demonstrate their instruments and perform a few pieces during class.

The class precedes a jazz concert that evening in which they will perform.

Reeves is a mainstay in contemporary New York jazz. He leads the Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra and Manhattan Bones and plays in the Dave Liebman Big Band. During his long career, he has performed with Bill Mobley’s Smoke Big Band, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, and the Vanguard Orchestra. He is currently a professor of music and director of jazz studies at the City College of New York. Coupled with his work as a music educator, he is a respected author of jazz improvisation texts, compositions and arrangements for large jazz ensemble. Reeves’ two books, Creative Jazz Improvisation and Creative Beginnings are among the most widely used texts in their field.

Ridl is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher, and performs internationally with the Jim Ridl Trio and Quartet, the Dave Liebman Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Ximo Tebar’s IVAM Jazz Ensemble of Spain, and the Tim Horner Quintet. He was the Art Tatum Scholarship Artist in Residence at the University of Toledo (Ohio) where he taught master classes and performed solo piano concerts. He earned his bachelor's degree in scoring and arranging, and was awarded its Student Achievement Award for composing “Ocean Sojourn,” an orchestral tone poem that he performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He is listed in the Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities.

Watson has uncanny, understated feel for shade and surprise. He also has a natural affinity for rhythm. With that combination, he can power a big band like the New York Nine Nonet or drive the smaller ensembles of greats like Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, and Tom Harrell. He has also lent his talents in the studio, enlivening the recordings of Jim Hall, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Larry Goldings. On occasion, he has played with singer/lyricist Jon Hendricks as well as Woody Herman’s Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Smoke Big Band, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and Cecil’s Big Band.





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