Jazz saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa headlines the Downtown Jazz Music program Friday, July 27 at Corpening Plaza. Jazz pianist Reggie Buie will open the program starting at 6 p.m.
Seattle native, Jeff Kashiwa knew he was destined to be a musician following his junior high introduction to woodwinds. His instincts were correct. He became known as one of the most compelling young saxophonists in contemporary jazz during his first year with The Rippingtons. Kashiwa performed hundreds of shows all over the world and appeared on many of the band’s classic recordings.
Having established himself in the 1990’s as one of the most diverse saxmen in contemporary jazz during his decade long tenure with The Rippingtons, Kashiwa’s instincts led him to more dynamic endeavors through his solo career. It surprised many when Jeff left the group to venture out on his own, but he had things to say through his own music. Kashiwa now has nine CDs released under his own name and has continued to record as a guest artist with many other artists as well. In 2004, Kashiwa founded The Sax Pack, a trio of saxophone headliners, featuring himself, Steve Cole and Kim Waters. The group released two CDs together and charmed audiences with their Rat Pack style reparte’ in tours across the U.S. and abroad.
In 2006, Jeff reunited with The Rippingtons for their 20th Anniversary Tour and continues to record and tour with the group as often as his busy schedule will allow. In addition to touring with The Sax Pack and his own group, Kashiwa has expanded his career to include the realm of music education, teaching various courses through the music program at Shoreline Community College in Seattle.
His brand new CD Let It Ride features a host of great musicians in the world of Contemporary Jazz; Russ Freeman, David Benoit, Chuck Loeb and Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra. Let It Ride has been in the top 4 Best Sellers in Smooth Jazz on Amazon.com for the past few weeks.
To quote from a review of his debut CD “The First Time” in the prominent online jazz magazine All About Jazz.com, “There is magic in how Reggie Buie brings his piano keys to life, allowing light and shade to emanate from every lively performance”.
Reginald Buie comes to North Carolina by way of Chicago, Illinois, and has performed around the Winston-Salem area since 1991. Reggie began his music studies at 8 years of age with private lessons, and later studied piano at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Reggie next attended Florida A & M University where he was a member of the famed “Marching 100” playing the clarinet. He graduated Cum Laude receiving a Bachelors degree in Electronics in 1978. In 1986 while living in Miami, Reggie earned recording credits performing on albums with national recording artists Timmy Thomas, and “Nicole”. Reggie also received writing credits for “What about Me” recorded by Epic recording artist “Nicole” in the 80’s. The single peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Charts.
While in North Carolina, Reggie has performed with and been mentored by many of Winston Salem’s’ local artist including Joe Robinson, Melva Houston, Janice Price, Cle Thompson, Brenda Morie, Galvin Crisp and is presently a member of the dance band Higher Ground. You can also hear Reggie playing keyboards on Joe Robinson’s second CD “Moving On”. Performing locally with the Joe Robinson Quartet, Reggie has been seen on stages in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh as the opening act for well known artists such as Gerald Albright, & Boney James.
He now heads his own trio “The Reggie Buie Trio” whom has been performing together around the Triad area since 2004. Their success has been largely due to the group’s versatility and their ability to move effortlessly between playing soft background music, performing jazz standards, music for dancing, or delivering passionate jazz performances and improvisation during live concerts. The RBT released its debut CD in early 2006. “The First Time” has received many great reviews and numerous accolades from the groups many fans. More recently in 2009, the Reggie Buie Trio performed for the South Carolina Jazz Festival in Cheraw, and Reggie has performed internationally as a solo jazz pianist in the Philippines. In addition to his jazz projects, Reggie has been a member of the Barn Dinner Theater Band since 2007, and plays piano for many of the Barn Theaters’ live music productions!