Nat Reeves Trio in Concert – April 7, 2024

Nat Reeves Trio

OSA Friends of Music is pleased to announce the Nat Reeves Trio in concert on Sunday, April 7, 2024. The concert will be held at Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Bloomfield at 3:00pm and will be followed by a reception with drinks and light refreshments.

For over 40 years, Nat Reeves has been one of the top bassists in jazz. His supportive and stimulating playing has uplifted a countless number of sessions and recording dates (most notably with the great altoists Jackie McLean and Kenny Garrett). He has lead his own CDs State of Emergency and Blue Ridge. Both as a performer and an educator, he has made a strong impact on the jazz world.

Nat Reeves was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. “My grandfather played the banjo, mandolin and guitar. One day I picked up his guitar and started playing the bass part. He noticed and, for my 16th birthday, he bought me an electric bass.” When he was 22 Nat joined a band led by trumpeter Tom Mitchell and guitarist Randy Johnston. Johnny Coles, trumpeter for Ray Charles who frequently sat in with the band, convinced Nat to switch to acoustic bass. Without taking a lesson, Nat taught himself the new instrument and quickly developed his own individual voice.

In 1979, Nat Reeves moved to New York City. “I listened, played on the streets, listened some more, and learned. It was while Kenny Garrett, Mulgrew Miller, Tony Reedus and James Williams also came to New York. We were all friends and played together.” That year he met Jackie McLean, who became his mentor. “Jackie McLean had a major impact on me as both a musician and a man. I remember that he told me that people saw you before they heard you so it was important how I dressed and how I talked to people. He introduced me to Dizzy and Miles in the 1980s. I performed with him on and off from 1987-2004 and he is still a major part of my life. Some of the things that Jackie said to me at the time make more sense to me now than they did originally. I still learn from him and I became a teacher because of him.”

Nat began teaching at the University of Hartford (The Hartt School jazz program was organized and run by Jackie McLean) and the Artists Collective (an arts organization founded by Jackie and his wife Dollie). “I originally felt that I didn’t have anything to teach but Jackie would always say to me that I had to share what I learned. It became something that I do very naturally.” After teaching part-time for years, in 2001 Nat began a full-time teaching career at The Hartt School where the African American Music Studies Program had been renamed the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. “I build on what my students already know and try to convince them to be more aggressive with learning. I’ve learned a lot from my students, particularly about technology. I often teach what I want to learn. I love helping the students. I think of teaching similar to playing a gig: being well organized, accomplishing goals and solving problems. It is a lot of fun and it makes me a better musician.” Although Nat retired from the university in 2021, he continues to teach privately and holds master classes, in-person or remote.

Early in his career, Nat Reeves not only performed with Jackie McLean but such greats as tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson, trumpeter Donald Byrd, drummer Art Taylor and pianists Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Walter Davis, Walter Bishop, Larry Willis and Kenny Drew. He became a longtime member of altoist Kenny Garrett’s group in 1994 and in recent times has worked and recorded with many of the who’s who of jazz including tenor-saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, George Coleman and Eric Alexander, trombonist Steve Davis, pianists Harold Mabern, George Cables, David Hazeltine and Anthony Wonsey, and drummer Joe Farnsworth among many others.

Nat Reeves has traveled the world including performing in India and Japan, at the San Francisco, New Orleans, Detroit and Atlanta Jazz Festivals, and with Pharoah Sanders at Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center. 

All are welcome. Concerts are held in the Parish Hall on the historic campus of Old St. Andrew’s Church at 59 Tariffville Rd in Bloomfield. The facility is handicap accessible. Tickets are $20 each of $50 per family and are available at:

Purchase Concert Tickets – Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church or by emailing or calling 860-242-4660.