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Reggie Codrington is the son of the nationally known musician and bandleader Ray Codrington, who played with numerous soul legends, including Little Richard, Gladys Knight, and the late Jackie Wilson. The saxman fondly remembers his father’s band practicing in the family’s den, and his childhood was marked by dreams of making music.

 

By age five, Codrington learned how to read music and the fundamentals of musicianship. However, Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (ACP), a chronic condition that affects muscle coordination and depth perception—which required nine intense surgeries before he was 13—delayed his ability to play the sax for many years. Those afflicted with the condition often have poor coordination and walk unsteadily with a wide based gait. The surgeries involved muscles being alternately cut and transferred from his elbow, wrist and right tricep to improve his finger dexterity. Other muscles were cut from his leg to offer more mobility and make it easier to walk.

REGGIE CODRINGTON'S BEGINNING

DETERMINATION

Determined not to allow his condition to become an obstacle, Reggie immersed himself in music and discovered that it could transcend him to a place of tranquility and offer an escape from the stress of life with ACP. He was encouraged to join his school band where he found acceptance from his peers and earned their respect as an exceptionally talented musician. Reggie continued his study of music at Howard University where he developed his own personal style and truly grew as a musician. Receiving accolades from professors and friends also lit a fire in his soul to keep perfecting his special gift. 
 
While many artists cite their parents as prime influences on their careers, Codrington takes that one step further, inviting his father Ray—who helped Codrington develop his skills and learn improvisation—to play trumpet throughout the recording of his album, Vicarious Experience. “When I make a record, I always want to have a warm sound with harmonies,” says Reggie, “and in this case, that means having dad play a lot of horn parts and percussion. When we were making the album, I found myself in a 70s and 80s type groove, inspired by everyone from De La Soul funk rhythms to Sade and Parliament. I grew up listening to old school R&B/funk so that’s a pretty natural influence for me. The process began with Brian sending me some great tracks and me putting melodies to them, then arranging harmonies and atmospheres around my lead sax. The romantic story thread emerged from the emotions I was experiencing at the time with the lady I was dating. I thought it might be fun to invite people into my musical heart this way.”

 

Reggie's goal is to tour the world and share his music and his triumphant story of overcoming the physical challenges of a debilitating disability and rising above the ridicule he faced in his youth because of it, and the joy of seeing his dream of being a successful jazz musician come to fruition.

ON STAGE

Since the release of Vicarious Experience in 2012, Reggie Codrington has enjoyed a true whirlwind of activity and performances in a multitude of events at many of the city’s upscale clubs, restaurants (including a seven-year stint at The Hilltop House and four years at The Trio Café). and the Highland Country Club. In 2010, he performed in the city at an event called Stone Soul Picnic, opening for renowned urban sax great Kim Waters.  

 

Throughout his career, the soprano saxophone player has also opened for numerous music legends, including Ramsey Lewis, keyboardist Kevin Toney, and Frankie Beverly & Maze and Charlie Wilson. Perhaps the most notable of these for the North Carolina native was receiving an invitation to perform at the Global Peace Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, January 2012. He also played at the star studded Black Caucus in Washington, DC, and was later invited to perform jazz, gospel, and Christian rock music at eight concerts in villages in Guatemala, followed by another performance in Antigua. Other notable performances include:

 

  • Jazz At The Creek, San Diego, CA

  • Humphrey's - San Diego, CA

  • Jazz at the Creek – San Diego, CA

  • The Inaugural Ball – Washington, DC

  • The Black Caucus Ball – Washington, DC

  • Spaghettini Jazz Lounge w/Kevin Toney – Seal Beach, CA 

  • Nugget Jazz Night w/Kevin Toney – Reno, NV

  • Key Club w/Kevin Toney – W. Hollywood, CA

  • La Ve Lee Jazz Club w/Kevin Toney – Studio City, CA

  • Marina Del Ray Yacht Club w/Kevin Toney – Marina Del Rey, CA

  • Mikell’s Jazz Club w/ Kevin Toney – New York, NY

  • Palm Court Jefferson Hotel w/ Kevin Toney – Richmond, VA

  • John D. Fuller Center – Fayetteville, NC

  • Cagney’s – Fayetteville, NC

  • Mercedes Benz Event – Fayetteville, NC

  • Opened for Betty Wright – Fayetteville, NC

  • Crown Center Ballroom – Fayetteville, NC

  • Opened for Peabo Bryson – Fayetteville, NC

  • Lakeland Convention Center opened for F. Beverly/Maze & Charlie Wilson – Lakeland, FL