Roger Aldridge

Genre: 

Maryland-based Jazz/CI Composer

Born in Kansas City, I discovered jazz as a child 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. My training at Berklee included jazz theory & composition with Herb Pomeroy, John LaPorta, and Charlie Mariano; classical composition with William Maloof and John Bavicchi; and woodwinds with Joe Viola. After Berklee and serving in the Air Force (1968-71), I continued my composition studies with a B.A. from McKendree University (Illinois) and M.A. from Highlands University (New Mexico). At Highlands, I was a graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Champ Tyrone and director of the university's jazz ensemble. In the course of working as a composer, arranger, music director, and educator I discovered that I could adapt the analytical skills that I developed as a composer and use them in software development. This offered a greater financial stability for my family. Making a career change, I worked as an analyst and team leader at Southwestern Bell, Bell Atlantic, Fannie Mae, and Decision Path Consulting for 34 years. Due to a busy work and family schedule I was away from music for 12 years. A business transfer from Missouri to Maryland in 1983 set the stage for new developments in my music. When I started to compose again in 1989 much of the music was directly inspired by my life in Maryland and the natural beauty of this region. I also began to explore an interest in fiddle music after hearing old-time fiddle players in West Virginia. It was easy for me to envision Appalachian music as an early branch of the jazz family tree.

Roger Aldridge