"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 Pennsylvanian’s. Pennsylvania has birthed and nurtured many composers, musicians and bandleaders. These artists play a significant role in Jazz history. The KJC is a statewide, multi-generational ensemble that honors the past, plays in the present and creates for the future.”
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 Philadelphia area artists and national groups.
Reggie Watkins - A long time Pittsburgh PA resident the trombonist, pianist, arranger and composer has released three recordings as leader and has been featured on many others. From 1999 to 2006 he served as trombonist and musical director for trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and then with singer-songwriter Jason Mraz from 2008 to 2013. In 2003 he was chosen as a semi-finalist in the “Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.” He has performed and recorded with many great artists from various genres including Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews, Dianne Shuur, Warren Haynes, Beverley Knight, Jose Feliciano, Willie Nelson, The Backstreet Boys, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ariana Grande, Dumpstaphunk, Arturo Sandoval, Trombone Shorty, The Temptations and The O’Jays. Currently, in addition to leading the Reggie Watkins Trio, he is also a member of the Grammy nominated Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band, The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Scott Bradley’s Postmodern Jukebox and a founding member of The Keystone Jazz Collective and Steeltown Horns. Reggie plays a Michael Rath trombone and David Monette mouthpieces.