Verbatim Theater/Jazz Suite

With Faith, Coming to Jones Road

Premiere at Bergen Community College’s Anna Maria Ciccone Theater

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 7:30 pm.

Join us for a special gala event honoring the legendary, transformative artist Faith Ringgold. This evening will feature the premiere of a jazz suite dedicated to Faith, composed and performed by renowned jazz great and Guggenheim composition fellow Rufus Reid and his quintet. A prolific composer and award-winning band leader, Rufus Reid received two Grammy nominations for his CD, “Quiet Pride – the Elizabeth Catlett Project.”

The suite will be interposed with verbatim theater, read by BCC theater students. The verbatim theater, written and directed by BCC professors Christine Eubank and Leigh Jonaitis, is drawn from the Ancestor Journeys Oral History Project associated with the Faith Ringgold: Coming to Jones Road exhibition on view at BCC’s Gallery Bergen until April 28.  

A reception will follow at Gallery Bergen with food and refreshments by BCC Culinary Arts Program.

Please go to to make reservations.

Gallery Bergen is proud to announce that we have been awarded a $10,000 Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts towards the commission and performance of the jazz suite dedicated to Faith Ringgold.

Rufus Reid

Rufus Reid, one of today’s premiere bassists on the international jazz scene, with his reputation firmly established in the education arena, now adds composition to his vitae. Rufus participated in the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop for five years which has empowered him to move more deeply into the composing arena. He has written for string orchestra, jazz ensembles large and small, concert band, double bass ensemble pieces and a solo bass composition. Mass Transit, Rufus’ three movement symphony orchestra composition, was premiered in 2011.  Also premiered that year was the orchestral arrangement of Reid’s Caress The Thought with soloist, Joe Guastafeste, retired principle bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Reid composed Caress The Thought as a solo piece for bass virtuoso, Diana Gannett, who has performed it several times and recorded it on her 2015 CD Artemis in the Oak Grove with pianist Ellen Rowe.

Quiet Pride, a five movement work for large jazz ensemble, inspired by the sculptures of the artist, Elizabeth Catlett, was premiered in 2012 at the Shaw Center for the Performing Arts, in Baton Rouge, LA.  This special event had Elizabeth’s gorgeous artwork in residence during this time.  This suite of music was recorded by a hand-picked large ensemble, including 2 French horn and vocals, conducted by Dennis Mackrel. Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project was released to rave reviews by Motéma Music in Feb, 2014.  This CD received two nominations for the 57th GRAMMY Awards ~ Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition for ‘Recognition’ the first movement of this suite. Rufus continues to present this music in Universities with Catlett’s work on view.  He also presents this professional large ensemble whenever possible, as at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, NYC, in November, 2014, and at The Jazz Standard, NYC, February, 2015

The jazz suite commission was made possible by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Faith Ringgold: Coming to Jones Road and Ancestors Journeys Oral History Project were made possible by generous grants from the Puffin Foundation Ltd. and the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.