Internationally recognized saxophonist Jeff Rupert
Mel Tormé said, “He’s dynamite”; Maynard Ferguson referred to him as “One of the great jazz players today.” And The Star Ledger music critic George Kanzler described him as “Just the kind of soloist needed to spur a band on to heroic heights.”
These jazz greats and aficionados were talking about tenor saxophonist Jeff Rupert, a Yamaha artist and record producer under the Flying Horse label. Rupert will be the featured artist at the Space Coast Jazz Society’s March concert. He will be joined by his Quartet, which includes similarly recognized drummer Marty Merrill, pianist Richard Drexler and bassist Benjamin Kramer.
Rupert’s performing and recording credits include associations with Diane Schuur, Mel Tormé, Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, and Benny Carter’s Grammy award-winning Harlem Renaissance. For fifteen years, he toured with renowned multi-
instrumentalist and composer Sam Rivers; four albums ensued. From 1997 to 2002 he toured and recorded with band leader and trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and has played at some of the best known jazz venues in the world: the Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Tokyo Forum, the National Theatre and Concert Hall of Taipei and at jazz festivals in Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. As a composer and arranger, Rupert has written for Bob Berg, James Moody,
Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Drew Jr, Kevin Mahogany and Judy Carmichael. He has produced several big band albums for the Flying Horse Big Band, all featuring original compositions and arrangements.
Jeff Rupert is Pegasus Distinguished Professor, Trustee Endowed Chair, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is the founder and director of UCF’s Flying Horse Big Band, which promotes the talent of both students and faculty recording artists at UCF’s Jazz Studies Program. Among several albums already recorded is The Bat Swings! --- music from the 60’s TV show, Batman. The album charted on two jazz charts simultaneously. Rupert’s second duo album R & D, with pianist Richard Drexler, was released in 2018 and was also on the charts. His most recent recording, The Ripple, a tribute to Lester Young, was released in September 2019 with legendary saxophonist George Garzone.
According to Ed Berger of the Institute of Jazz Studies, “Jeff Rupert has a classic tenor sound, the virtuosity to execute practically any musical idea, and the imagination to make those ideas worth hearing.” According to Rupert, “I am not hung up on technique, style is what is most important --- to play swinging and lyrically,” So come and enjoy the swinging, lyrical style of the Jeff Rupert Quartet on March 8th.
Space Coast Jazz Society concerts are open to the public. General admission can be paid at the door or online: $10 for members of the Society or the Rockledge Country Club, $15 for non-members and guests, and no charge for students under 25 with an ID. Food and beverages are available at an additional cost. The Rockledge Country Club is located at 1591 S. Fiske Blvd., Rockledge, FL 32955. For more information, call (321) 960-4897, email Jazz@SpaceCoastJazzSociety.org or go to www.SpaceCoastJazzSociety.org. You can also join this unique and fun organization at the concert or through the website.
The Space Coast Jazz Society is dedicated to preserve and promote jazz --- hosting monthly concerts by a variety of professional musicians and bands and awarding scholarships to graduating Brevard County high school seniors.