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Roger Aldridge

Composer

About Me

I am primarily a jazz composer. A wide range of influences are found in my music including tango, blues, samba, fusion, ragtime, contemporary classical, American roots music, and other kinds of music that interest me. Jazz Composition, Berklee College of Music 1968. BA Composition, McKendree University 1973. MA Composition, Highlands University 1974. Jazz and classical composition teachers include Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, William Maloof, John Bavicchi, Dr. Robert Wykes, Dr. Stephanie Owen, and Dr. Champ Tyrone. Listed in International Who's Who in Music. Independent artist. A selection of my music is licensed for use in TV, film, theater, and other visual media through Zudo Music, Directional Music, and PARMA Licensing. Recent Work: MUSIC FOR MID-SIZE JAZZ ENSEMBLE. Instead of thinking of a mid- size ensemble as a smaller version of a big band, a woodwind quintet – with each instrument having a distinct tone color – is envisioned as a role model. My scores use flexible instrumentation to enable the music to be performed by many combinations of instruments. Stylistically, the music covers a wide range from American roots music to avant-garde. DONUT MUSIC (solo guitar). Commissioned by Keith Calmes. The composition was inspired by a line in a story written by my granddaughter Eillonwy (then 8 years old): “Sitting in a dark room, eating a chocolate donut”. The music represents a stream of memories, images, and thoughts as one’s life is contemplated over a donut. Written in 9 movements (or bites), the composition draws upon various roots-based musical styles including blues, Appalachian, tango, jazz, and samba. MUSIC FOR TANGO-JAZZ BAND. Each piece in this series expresses a particular quality of the tango. BUZZARDS IN LOVE (wind ensemble). This composition turns the sound of a wind ensemble or concert band into that of a contemporary jazz orchestra. The music tells a story about two buzzards finding each other. Section titles in the score include: buzzard search for life’s meaning, buzzard attraction, buzzard tango, buzzard dating, roadkill interlude (open improvisation section), and buzzard love in the sky. This piece has a spirit of fun and adventure. ORIGINAL TUNES AND EXTENDED PIECES. Lead sheets for solo instruments and small groups.

My Jazz Story

Jazz is about LIFE. Everything we experience in life, all the ups and downs, are heard in jazz. For me, it is more direct in jazz than with other kinds of music that I also listen to...perhaps because jazz is a music of the moment in the improv interactions that take place between musicians. The freedom in jazz has appealed to me since I first discovered the music when I was around 8 years old.