Title/Position: Assistant Professor, Jazz BassProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Becoming a member of the Buddy Rich Band
Appearing with Stan Getz and Joe Williams at Carnegie Hall.
Being chosen to record in the “New Stars on Blue Note” series in 1989
Releasing my first CD as a leader, and breaking into the top 10 on Gavin
Hearing my father—an oil refinery worker—say to me, “You sound really good, son—I’m proud of you.”
What is your teaching philosophy? What do you expect of your students?
I believe that there are few things more important than a college education; the most important lesson to learn in college is the ability to learn to think independently. In studying jazz, an educator must find a balance for each student between conveying the strict demands of playing the instrument properly and nurturing the creative side of the art form. I judge each of my students on an individual basis, based upon their efforts and improvement from semester to semester. I expect my students to recognize the passion I have for playing and teaching this music—and to find that passion themselves.
How were you influenced by your teachers?
My first music teacher was my mother. She played the piano in our home continuously even before I was born and wanted each of her children to know the joy that comes from music as well as its importance.
“Bergeron demonstrates an allegiance to the late, irascible Charles Mingus. His sense of craftsmanship is serious: his direction ever forward.”
“Bergeron shows his versatility by writing and performing in a variety of styles, never straying very far from the mainstream…there is an impressive consistency to his performances. Bergeron’s playing never stops driving the music forward…this music consistently has a positive spirit that suffuses this highly recommended CD. ”
“Flexibility and wide stylistic range are specialties of Bergeron.”
—Bass Player Magazine
Chuck Bergeron is a first-call bassist in South Florida who tours, performs, and records with several national artists. Recently, Chuck’s travels took him to
Australia with Arturo Sandoval
Boston, Philadelphia, and Portland with Freddie Cole
Greece, Istanbul, Tanglewood, and New York’s Birdland with Kevin Mahogany
Following college, Chuck hit the road with with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd and the Buddy Rich Big Band. After the breakup of the Buddy Rich Band, Chuck moved to New York and embarked upon a 15-year career as a working professional bassist. He performed, recorded, and toured with a host of jazz luminaries, including
New York Voices
In early 2008, Chuck was part of a core group of musicians working with Elvis Costello in the world premier of his new ballet, which will be choreographed by Twyla Tharp.
Chuck has released five recordings as a leader—each featuring his own writing and arranging—for which he has won 3 ASCAP awards. Critical acclaim has come from every major jazz trade publication including Jazztimes, Downbeat, and Bass Player.
In Miami, Chuck leads a contemporary professional big band called the South Florida Jazz Orchestra. Its debut CD—featuring Arturo Sandoval, Charles Pillow, Ed Calle— contains original compositions and arrangements by Chuck, Gary Lindsay, and others from the greater Miami area. The band has recently been featured performing original works with guest artists such as John Fedchock, Shelly Berg, and Eddie Daniels.
Chuck is on the faculty of the University of Miami, where conducts a big band and several small ensembles, helps coordinate the small group program, works with private bass students, and teaches classes in jazz and rock history. Born and raised in New Orleans, Chuck studied at Loyola University, Eastman School of Music, and the University of Miami.
Chuck Bergeron (jazz bass) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Studio Music & Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he also is the faculty mentor for the Stamps Jazz Quintet. Bergeron teaches jazz history, conducts big bands and small jazz ensembles and is an active clinician at schools throughout the country. He is one of the most active and innovative musicians working in the field of jazz. Equally versatile on the acoustic and electric bass, his unique compositional style and approach to improvisation reflect a wide variety of musical influences. Chuck’s newest CD, My Take – A Collection of Friends and Standards, is his fifth as a leader, and for the last five years he has been bassist and co-arranger for Kevin Mahogany. Born and raised in New Orleans, he earned a B.M. from Loyola University and a M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Miami. He then moved to New York, where he resided for 12 years while touring, performing, and recording with such jazz luminaries as Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Randy Brecker, Steve Gadd, Larry Coryell, John Fedchock, Dave Weckland many others— plus the big bands of Woody Herman and Buddy Rich. Never relinquishing his focus on performing, Chuck balances his educational endeavors with a continual schedule of touring, performing, and recording that keep him active year ‘round.