The Keystone Jazz Collective is a collaboration of jazz artists, based in the state of Pennsylvania, coming together to bring to light the historical and contemporary contributions to jazz music by Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania has birthed and nurtured many composers, musicians and bandleaders. These artists play a significant role in America’s jazz history. The Keystone Collective is a state wide, multi-generational ensemble that honors the past, plays in the present and creates for the future.
The mission of the Keystone Jazz Collective is to entertain, enrich and educate through performances and workshops throughout the state and region.
Bassist/composer Nimrod Speaks began playing at the age of 14. After years of study completing his Masters degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, Speaks gained many opportunities to perform with prolific artists like Bootsie Barnes, Allan Harris, and Tim Warfield. He has performed at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the world including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, The Blue Note in New York, the Brighten Alternative Jazz Festival in the UK and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. He currently teaches at Eastern University.
Speaks recently toured with Postmodern Jukebox and currently tours with Allan Harris, local Philadelphia area artists and national groups.
Reggie Watkins has toured and recorded with many of the biggest names in music including trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, The Temptations, and pop artist Jason Mraz. Within the last year, Watkins has worked with Postmodern Jukebox, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Orrin Evans Quintet and The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.
Currently Watkins leads his own groups in the Pittsburgh area including the Reggie Watkins Quartet and the Steeltown Horns. He is also on faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College. In addition to playing with other artists, Watkins has released three critically acclaimed solo albums 'A-List' (2004) 'One For Miles, One For Maynard' (2010) and 'Avid Admirer' (2016) and has gained a reputation worldwide for his strong, groove-minded playing.
Luke Carlos O’Reilly is an award winning pianist who has always had a passion for music. He is influenced by Jazz, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Latin Jazz, Classical and many other styles of music. After a Boston upbringing, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend Esther Boyer School of Music at Temple University on an academic and music scholarship. While living in Philadelphia he has toured with Curtis Fuller, Bobby Watson, Randy Brecker, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Valentin, Billy Paul, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Fred Wesley, Red Holloway, Steve Turre, Chico Freeman, Roy Ayers, Musiq Soulchild, Bilal, Carol Riddick, K’naan and many others.
Luke has two independently released solo albums; ‘Living In The Now' (2011) and '3 Suites' (2013). He is currently Artist In Residence at The Kimmel Center For The Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
George Heid III began playing drums at the age of 3. He grew up in his fathers recording studio in Aspinwall, PA where he was influenced by many music masters. Now, at age 27, George leads his own ensembles that have performed and toured extensively across the USA and in China at venues and festivals such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (New York), JZ Club (Hangzhou), JZ Club (Shanghai), The Monterey Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh JazzLive, The Cleveland Jazz Festival and many more.
George has had the honor of performing and/or recording with music greats such as Roger Humphries Sr., Sean Jones, Warren Wolf, Alton Merrell Jr., Clifford Barnes, Dan Wilson, Benny Benack III, Brett Williams, Theron Brown, Dwayne Dolphin, Henry Franklin Sr., David Budway, Maureen Budway, Jimmy Ponder, Jonathan Batiste, Paul Thompson, Jeff Grubbs, Ralph Lalama, Essiet Essiet, Cameron Brown, Bill Heid and Perry Hughes.