A recent profile in Newsday described 802 member Demetrios Kastaris as a “trombonist, conductor and arranger; leading figure in Afro-Cuban jazz with his own group, the Latin Jazz Coalition; also a teacher; in September will be the new band director at IS 119 in Glendale.”
Kastaris, who was born in Greece and raised in St. Louis, has a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a degree in jazz performance and trombone from Manhattan School of Music. The Newsday profile, which appeared on July 14, reflects his thoughts on teaching and the impact his work has
Jazz bassist Rufus Reid was awarded the first annual BMI Foundation/Charlie Parker Jazz Composition prize for his piece, “Skies Over Emilia.” The $3,000 award, for the writer of the best new work composed in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, was presented on July 20 during the workshop’s annual Showcase Concert at Merkin Hall.
Reid, a member of Local 802 since 1977, has more than 250 recordings to his credit. He has performed and recorded with such musicians as Joe Lovano, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson and Thad Jones. He is also an author and educator whose book, The Evolving Bassist, is considered a definitive source on bass method. In 1997 the International Association of Jazz Educators honored him with their Humanitarian Award.