Reggie Washington was born into a musical family in 1962. At a young age he studied cello privately on a music scholarship and played in several orchestras. A highlight in Reggie’s young career was performing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for four years under conductors Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Morton Gould and Claudio Abbado. While at the High School of Music and Art, he switched to acoustic bass at the insistence of conductor Anthony Diaz. Reggie studied bass classically with William Blossom (NY Philharmonic), jazz with Paul West (Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams) and afro-cuban with Victor Venegas (Fania All-Stars). The electric bass came along after spending many musical nights at home with his brother and Marcus Miller.
Over the last 20+ years, he has amassed recording, collaborating and/or touring credits with a diverse and talented melange of artists: Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Oliver Lake, Ronnie Cuber, Buddy Williams, Lester Bowie, World Saxophone Quartet, Steps Ahead, Will Smith, Arthur Blythe, M-Base Collective, Meshell N’degeocello, Ute Lemper, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Uri Caine and Cheick-Tidiane Seck. He has performed at almost every jazz and music festival worldwide with award winning artists such as Roy Hargrove, Branford Marsalis, Steve Coleman and Chico Hamilton.
In 2005 Reggie became a leader, and in 2006 he released his debut CD “A Lot of Love, LIVE!”—recorded at two live concerts with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, drummer Gene Lake and Belgian musicians (saxophonist) Erwin Vann and (drummer) Stéphane Galland. Reggie has been touring with his bands through Europe, playing sold out clubs and festivals all across Europe, UK and USA.
Reggie was profiled in Bass Player Magazine in 2007, and was among the winners of the Rising Stars electric bassist category in the DownBeat Magazine’s 2008 Critics’ Poll. He was also featured in the April 2008 issue of Jazz Times Magazine in an article entitled “Overdue Ovation; Groove Instincts.”
Teaching and passing on knowledge has been an interest and passion for Reggie. He has givem private instruction and workshops at the Conservatory of Music in Antwerpen, EZart Music Conservatory in Arnhem and the Institute of Music Performance in London. In August 2008, he participated in the Sligo Jazz Project in Ireland as the electric bass instructor and was a featured artist for the Jazz Fest. Participation in Bass Day UK ’07 was a personal highlight in his music career.
To amplify his colorful, deep-grooving bass playing, Reggie has chosen a MoMark amplifier (consisting of an 800W amp frame, S2 preamp, EQ4S EQ module, and M0 master module), a Little Mark Tube 800 amplifier, and two Standard 104HR cabinets. For upright bass he has a Markacoustic AC 121 combo.
What’s up for Reggie in 2010?
Live work and touring with Robin McKelle, saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, J.T. Lewis’ Middle Passage, saxophonist Fabrice Alleman Quartet (with string orchestra), and guitartist Jean Paul Bourelly. In addition, he’ll be playing gigs & festivals (Qatar, Dijon) with his two bands: the Reggie Washington Jazz Trio, and Music of The Phrase (MoTP). He will also be teaching privately in Brussels and giving master classes and workshops all across Europe.