By Laura Mazza-Dixon
Internationally acclaimed jazz bassist, Nat Reeves, will kick off the 2015-2016 season of the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series with Mark Templeton on piano and Kurt Berglund on drums. The concert will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m. at South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street.
An associate professor of music at The Hartt School for more than 30 years, Reeves has been a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to become noted jazz musicians themselves.
A recent recipient of the James E. and Frances W. Bent Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity, Nat Reeves inspires his students not only by his professional reputation and his gift for teaching, but also by his efforts to put them in front of live audiences as much as possible to give them real-world experience.
As a professional musician, Reeves has played for more than 40 years with many jazz greats, including the late Jackie McLean, founder of the University of Hartford’s Jazz Studies program (now the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz). Nat Reeves continues to tour and record, and has played on more than 60 recordings.
Jazz trombonist Steve Davis ’89, a fellow Hartt faculty member, says he continues to learn from Reeves, his former teacher and mentor, and praises Reeves’s “wisdom, patience, and inherent understanding of the essence of things, musical and otherwise.”
Mark Templeton, pianist, has performed with trumpet legends Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw and Clark Terry, as well as saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Frank Foster. He has played at the Nice and Berlin Jazz Festivals, the World Expo in Seville, Spain, and for numerous other festivals and tours.
Templeton’s arranging and recording credits include work for Major League Baseball, PBS, Hall and Oates and Wishbone Ash. Currently he is the musical director and keyboardist for “Cast Of Beatlemania,” a touring production of the Broadway show “Beatlemania.” Templeton’s teaching experience includes theory and improvisation courses at the Hartt School of music as well as lessons in jazz and classical piano.
Kurt Berglund has been playing the drums professionally and teaching for over 25 years. He has a B.M. in Music Performance from Western CT State University (‘92), where he studied with David Smith, graduating cum laude and receiving the Music Chairman’s Award. He has also studied with Joe Morello, Kenny Washington, and Joel Rosenblatt. Kurt has performed across the country and on a wide variety of stages: House of Blues in New Orleans, Irving Hall in Manhattan, and The Gathering of The Vibes in Bridgeport.
As a teacher, he worked with Newtown High School’s marching band, accompanying them to The Rose Bowl Parade, The Citrus Bowl Parade and multiple performances at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He has also taught both classical percussion and drum set technique in local high schools and has had many students perform in Regional and All-State music festivals.
The Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series is held at South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street, in Granby, Connecticut. The series is free and open to the public, though we welcome donations. The church is wheelchair accessible. Concertgoers are invited to a reception for the artists following the performance.
For further information, please contact the office of South Congregational Church at 860-653-7289. You can also visit the church website at www.southchurchgranby.org.