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Imbued with both groove and spirit from birth, Reuben Rogers combined the calypso and reggae rhythms of his native Virgin Islands with the gospel sounds of the church and the freedom and improvisation of jazz to create the unique chemistry that would make him one of the most distinctive and in-demand bassists in modern jazz. Rogers’ versatile mastery of both the acoustic and electric bass has led to opportunities on stages around the world alongside some of the music’s most renowned artists, including Charles Lloyd, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Tomasz Stanko, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, Mulgrew Miller, Jackie McLean and Dianne Reeves, among many others.
Whether laying down a window-rattling groove, painting lush harmonic colors or whispering with delicate lyricism, Rogers’s passion and singular voice shine through in any setting. While he’s constantly adapting his always-recognizable voice to new settings, styles and challenges, Rogers’ career is remarkable for the longevity of many of his artistic relationships. He maintains musical partnerships reaching back to his earliest mentors, and enjoys rewarding long-term collaborations with several other artists, including notable tenures with Joshua Redman, Charles Lloyd and the Aaron Goldberg Trio that have lasted for a decade or more. Over the last two decades, he’s been featured on more than 100 recordings (including his sole release as a leader, the 2006 all-star session The Things I Am) and countless international tours.
That blend of long-lasting relationships with novel encounters has led to an entrancing richness in Rogers’ playing, an evolution that is the extraordinary result of deep exploration combined with fresh surprises. Born in 1974, Rogers was always drawn to music and dabbled with the clarinet, piano, drums and guitar before discovering his true passion in the bass. He was introduced to jazz by saxophonist Ron Blake and drummer Dion Parson, with both of whom Rogers continues to work in the Afro-Caribbean tinged 21st Century Band, and studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Around the world, Rogers continues to give back with educational opportunities, leading workshops, clinics, private lessons and master classes to encourage the next generation of jazz musicians.