Immediate Release - Jeff Rupert & Richard Drexler
Saxophonist Jeff Rupert is a YAMAHA performing artist. His credits include recordings and tours with: Diane Schuur, Mel Tormé, Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, and Benny Carter's Grammy winning Harlem Renaissance. Jeff Rupert toured for fifteen years with Sam Rivers; four albums ensued, and from 1997- 2002 he toured and recorded with Maynard Ferguson. Jeff Rupert's six recordings as a leader all charted on Jazz Week. Do That Again! was #39 out of the top 100 jazz albums of 2014, and En Plein Air: The Jazz Professors play Monet charted on Jazz Week to #29. Performance venues include the Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Tokyo Forum, the National concert hall of Taipei, Taiwan, and 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. Rupert has produced four 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), and founder of Flying Horse Records.
Richard Drexler is a pianist, bassist, vocalist and composer/arranger from Bloomington-Normal Illinois, and has resided in central Florida since 1985. He has performed on 200 recordings; piano in the Woody Herman Orchestra for over 20 years, bass in trios of Kenny Drew Jr., Dick Hyman and others. Richard has toured for 16 years as pianist with electric bassist Jeff Berlin, and regularly performs in eleven orchestras on seven instruments, and in diverse settings as a featured soloist with Cheap Trick, and Saigon Kick.
Richard has performed with Mose Allison, Karrin Allyson, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Diahann Carroll, Vic Damone, Dena DeRose, Donovan, Bob Dorough, Connie Francis, Amy Grant, Al Jarreau, Frankie Laine, Kevin Mahogany, Idina Menzel, Mark Murphy, Freda Payne, Bernadette Peters, Mel Torme', Veronica Swift, and Roseanna Vitro.
His playing has been favorably reviewed in Down Beat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and in dozens of online publications. Richard is profiled in The New Face of Jazz, a Billboard (Random House) book by Cicily Janus with forewords by jazz legends Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Miller and Sonny Rollins, and has played with 40 of the other 100 featured players.
Richard is a faculty member at the University of Central Florida's acclaimed jazz studies program, along with Marty Morell and Jeff Rupert. Richard holds a MM degree from UCF in composition.
"I have heard the future of Jazz, and it is Richard Drexler."
–Joel Chriss and Co., Jazz Times Magazine, 2004
"Jeff Rupert has a classic tenor sound, the virtuosity to execute practically any musical idea, and the imagination to make those ideas worth hearing."
-Ed Berger, the Institute of Jazz Studies
"Jeff Rupert, he is dynamite!"
"From the moment I first heard Jeff Rupert with my band I considered him one of the great jazz players of today."
"Rupert is just the kind of soloist needed to spur a band on to heroic heights."
-George Kanzler, music critic, The Star Ledger
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