Bassist, bandleader and educator Nat Reeves grew up in Virginia, but he's been part of the Hartford jazz scene for decades. Like so many musicians in the area, Reeves had some pivotal experiences playing and working beside alto giant Jackie McLean. Reeves got encouragement from McLean to share and teach at the Artists Collective and later at the Hartt School.
Early on, Reeves was interested in the playing of electric bassists like Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius, but he has embraced a more subdued and foundational role, having supported artists like Sonny Stitt, Benny Golson and Donald Byrd. He can play with an understated warmth, a light Latin touch, or a hard-bop drive and groove.
Nat Reeves leads his own band, State of Emergency, with special guest poet Kate Rushin, as a part of the Continue New Music series at Artists Collective, 1200 Albany Ave., Hartford, Friday, Feb. 24, from 6 to 10 p.m. 860-527-3205, artistscollective.org.