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Nat Reeves Honored as ‘Hartford’s Own Distinguished Jazz Artist’
Internationally renowned bassist Nat Reeves, a faculty member of The Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, was honored by the Connecticut Artists Initiative as “Hartford’s Own Distinguished Jazz Artist" as part of Elizabeth Park’s Rose Weekend on June 22.
The tribute to Reeves included a variety of performances, as well as a citation from Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra declaring June 22, 2013, as Nat Reeves Day in the City of Hartford.
“Nat Reeves . . . is a true legend in the world of jazz,” said UHart Associate Vice President and Treasurer Tom Perra, who introduced Reeves at the event. “He has played bass with all the great musicians of his generation, especially with the late, great Jackie McLean, for whom the Jazz Institute at the University of Hartford is named.
“Professor Reeves has appeared on more than 60 recordings, and his live performances continue to mesmerize audiences around the globe,” Perra added. “Professor Reeves has been sharing the fruits of his talent and experience with aspiring young musicians since he joined The Hartt School faculty at the University of Hartford in 1981. The students and the University have been inspired not only by his ability to teach music, but by his skill in developing professionalism in his students to enter their chosen field.”
The Nat Reeves Ensemble, featuring artists from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, performed two sets on Sunday, June 23, the second day of the Elizabeth Park Rose Weekend. Artists from the Jackie McLean Institute who performed with Reeves include Josh Bruneau, trumpet; Andrew Renfroe, guitar; Taber Gable, piano; Jovan Alexandre, tenor saxophone; acclaimed Hartt faculty member Steve Davis, trombone; and Mike Dick, percussion.
In addition, an Honors Brass Quintet from Hartt also performed.
Reeves, along with Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Harold Mabern, piano; and Joe Farnsworth, drums, also will tour extensively throughout Japan this July and August, performing more than a dozen concerts.