Roger Aldridge, Maryland, USA
Born in 1946 in Kansas City, MO, I discovered jazz at an early age thanks to my mother’s collection of big band recordings. I started on alto saxophone when I was 9 and developed an interest in composition in my early teens. This led me to study composition & arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
At Berklee, I studied jazz composition with Herb Pomeroy and Charlie Mariano, classical composition with William Maloof and John Bavicchi, and woodwinds with Joe Viola. Afterwards, I studied composition with Dr. Robert Wykes, Dr. Stephanie Owen, and Dr. Champ Tyrone. I received a B.A. degree in composition from McKendree University and a M.A. degree in composition from New Mexico Highlands University. As a graduate assistant at Highlands, I directed the university’s jazz ensemble.
After working as a composer-arranger, music director, professional musician, and educator, I found that I needed to have a different way to support my family. I made a career change to become an analyst and worked at Southwestern Bell, Bell Atlantic, Fannie Mae, and DecisionPath Consulting for what became a 34-year career. Due to a busy work and family schedule, I was away from music for 12 years.
As my concepts evolved jazz and roots music along with tango, blues, contemporary classical, and other kinds of music became intertwined in unusual ways in my writing. A variety of styles and forms emerged along with expanded harmonic color, a quirky humor in much of my work, and a fluid, musically expressive approach to time. It was increasingly difficult for one to define my music by genre.
While I have been composing for many years, I did not have a good way for others to hear my music for much of that time. I prefer to focus on composition and have other musicians perform it. In 2010 I began to use various internet resources as a way for more people to hear and discover my work. Positive responses have been gratifying. My music now has friends in many countries around the world.
If you’re a performer in any idiom, please consider joining the Climate Message Video Festival, an online initiative bringing together musicians from all over the world to increase awareness of climate change.