Working with jazz legends like John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and numerous others has given double bassist Reggie Workman more than a little perspective on music-making. On Monday, June 4th, the eighty-year-old exponent of hard bop and avant-garde jazz shared some of that perspective with students through a lecture/demonstration at the Charleston Jazz Academy. The academy, located on West Montague Avenue in North Charleston, absorbed the Leonard School of Music in 2017, and is the educational arm of Charleston Jazz.
Workman’s visit was the first collaboration between the academy and Spoleto Festival USA’s Wells Fargo Jazz Series, and followed on the heels of his Sunday night performance at the Gaillard Center with the other members of Trio 3 and pianist Vijay Iyer. A number of the academy’s forty students were able to attend the concert using complimentary tickets provided through the festival’s Open Stage Door outreach program.
In addition to sharing his talents on double bass, Workman answered questions and advised the aspiring musicians present to consider themselves “sound scientists.” Workman also recalled several of his own life experiences to stress the importance of working hard, listening carefully, and forging connections with other musicians.