Jeff Rupert - Jazz and the American Spirit Host
Jeff Rupert is the Director of Jazz Studies at UCF. He is a saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.
Rupert has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings with artists including Sam Rivers, Mel Tormé, Diane Schuur, Benny Carter, and Maynard Ferguson. His most recent recording The Ripple with legendary saxophonist George Garzone released in September 2019. He played on Benny Carter's Harlem Renaissance which won a Grammy. . He has also performed with Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Farnsworth, Ray Drummond, Harry Allen, pianist Benny Green, Kenny Drew jr, trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, and pianist and singer Judy Carmichael.
Rupert has several releases under his own name including "Lets Sail Away" with Veronica Swift (2017)and "Imagination" (2016) and "R&D" (2018)with pianist Richard Drexler. Rupert currently is the leader of The Jazz Professors, a sextet that had top JazzWeek charting hit albums in 2012-2015. "The Jazz Professors: Live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival" (Flying Horse, 2011) which and peaked at #19 during its seventeen weeks on the JazzWeek charts. His third album, "From Memphis to Mobile", with Kenny Drew, Jr.
Rupert joined Sam Rivers' band in 1996 and appeared in four recordings with the group. He has performed in hundreds of concerts with Rivers, including performances at Lincoln for Ed Bradley's Jazz from Lincoln Center (broadcast on NPR), the Vision Festival NYC and Columbia University. He has been a member of the Jaguar International Jazz Series alongside Joe LaBarbera, Tom Wharington, Larry Koonse, and John Fedchock. Most recently he performed with Michael Philip Mossman and John Riley at the Taipei National Concert Hall, Taiwan.
He has played at jazz festivals around the world, with dates in Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Taiwan, Israel, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.