Born: July 2, 1947 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
One need only witness a Reggie Houston performance to understand why his talent has been courted by legends like Fats Domino, Peter Gabriel, Dr. John and The Neville Brothers.
More than a master vocalist and saxophone player, Reggie Houston is an entertainer of the highest order. He has the charm and charisma of a modern day Louis Armstrong mingled with the pure and irresistible joy of a child. Freed up by a wireless microphone, laughing and waving his white handkerchief, he'll shimmy off the bandstand with his saxophone and get down with the audience... and sometimes even bring them back on stage with him! And when Reggie Houston lays down the funk, he lays it down on black satin sheets and makes it blush!
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 2, 1947, Reggie Houston began studying saxophone at the age of 10. His first professional gig came in 1959 at the age of 12 when he joined legendary keyboardist David Batiste Sr. in the Batiste family band, The Gladiators, one of the pre-eminent and pioneering bands of funk.
Reggie continued to perform with The Gladiators throughout high school and college. After graduating from Southern University’s jazz program, run by world-renowned clarinetist Alvin Batiste, Reggie was immediately put to work in the jazz tent at the 1973 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Reggie quickly became an integral part of Jazz Fest, and for over a decade, worked as stage manager, booking agent, emcee, and performer.
In 1982 Reggie, along with fellow sax player Charles Neville, keyboardist Sam Henry, drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, Charmaine Neville, and Ramsey McLean, formed The Survivors. Other players included Harry Connick Jr., Steve Masakowski, Ricky Sebastian, and Bobby McFerrin.
In 1983 Reggie joined The Fats Domino Band, and aside from a three year hiatus, was a permanent member of Fats' band for the next 22 years. Today, Reggie continues to be a featured guest saxophonist for Fats.
In the late 80s Dr. John offered Reggie the baritone sax chair in his band, but Reggie, who had also been gigging with Charmaine Neville, had already accepted her offer to lead her band, which he did until moving to Oregon in 2004.
Reggie’s recording credits, too numerous to list, include Peter Gabriel’s 1992 release Us which features Reggie on two tracks including the grammy nominated Steam.” Along with guest vocalist Joan Osborne, Reggie appears on The Indigo Girls’ Peace Tonight from their 1999 release Come On Now Social.” Reggie’s also recorded numerous projects with his own bands, The Neville Brothers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Fats Domino, Charmaine Neville and was featured on As Long as You're Living Yours: The Music of Keith Jarrett along with John Scofield, Bruce Hornsby and others.
A gifted vocalist, entertainer, and one of the most versatile and accomplished saxophonists playing today, Reggie’s talent continues to take him around the globe to perform and record with the brightest stars of jazz, blues, funk, soul, gospel and rock. Actively gigging with his own bands and many others in Portland, Oregon, Reggie continues to be an avid arts educator, leading concerts and workshops locally and nationwide.
- 2006 - "The Katrina Sessions" by Matthew Voth, with guest musician Reggie Houston
- 2004 - "Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: Big Ol' Box of New Orleans" Shout! Factory's mamouth 4 disc collection that covers the full range of Crescent City music, from R&B to jazz, zydeco and funk.
- 2003 - "Hit" by Peter Gabriel, Reggie plays on disc 2 track 10 "Lovetown" and disc 1 track 13 "Steam" which first appeared on Gabriel's 1992 Release "US" (see below for info).
- 2003 - "Louisiana Night" by Jimmy "Bean" Ballero, with guest musician Reggie Houston
- 2003 - "Makin' Groceries" by Reggie Houston and Friends
- 2001 - "Fats Domino Live! (Shout)" Recorded live in 2001 at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
- 2001 - "Guthro" by Bruce Guthro
- 2001 - "sisters on the Riverbed" by Nanaco
- 2000 - "Urgin' For The Virgin" by Reggie Houston's Earth Island Band
- 2000 - "Mardi Gras Mambo" by Cubanismo
- 2000 - "As Long as You're Living Yours: The Music of Keith Jarrett"
1999 - "Wordless Praise The Gospel Saxophone of Reggie Houston"
with Ezekiel Williams on organ & piano, Damian Brown on piano, organ & synthesizer, Cornell Williams on bass, and Jeffrey Alexander drums. Produced by Mark Bingham
- 1999 - "Come On Now Social" by The Indigo Girls. Reggie appears on track 6 "Peace Tonight" along with guest vocalist Joan Osborne
- 1999 - "Dew Drop Out" by The Yockamo All-Stars
- 1999 - "Little Red Wagon" by Ramsey & Vaan, Reggie appears as a guest musician on track 1 "The Lady I Hated to Lose"
- 1997 - "The Best of Austin City Limits: Legends of Country Music"
- 1996 - "Up Up Up" by The Charmaine Neville Band
- 1996 - "StarGeezer" by Spider John Koerner
- 1996 - "There's Room For Us All" by Terrance Simien (Reggie is mistakenly credited as "Reggie Dallas" on this album-- something about an in-studio joke gone awry...)
- 1994 - "Gazebo Sessions" by The Reggie Houston-Amasa Miller Trio
- 1992 - "It's About Time" by The Charmaine Neville Band
- 1992 - "Us" by Peter Gabriel, Reggie plays on track 6 "Washing of the Water" and grammy nominated track 4 "Steam" which topped Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart for 5 weeks.
- 1992 - "Coincidence and Likely Stories" by Buffy Sainte-Marie
- 1990 - "Brother's Keeper" by The Neville Brothers
- 1988 - "Creole Nightingale" by Tim Williams
- 1988 - "Ed Frank Quintet/Ramsey McLean & The Survivors - New New Orleans Music: Jump Jazz"
- 1988 - "Before The Feeling is Gone" by Nora Wixted
- 1986 - "Fats Domino: His Greatest Hits" Recorded live at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles on August 22, 1985
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Most people call them workshops, but with Reggie Houston at the helm, they're just to much fun to call work!
World of Rhythm Playshop
Join Reggie as he takes you on a fascinating journey through history to explore the rhythms underlying blues, jazz, and funk. Combining his love and knowledge of history and music with a remarkable gift for storytelling, Reggie uses performance, demonstration and hands-on teaching to trace musical origins from Africa through the slave routes all the way along its evolution to modern New Orleans styles.
Wordless Praise Playshop
Wordless Praise is a multi-media Gospel INformance, that uses music, songs, dance and comedy to chronicle the development, movement and circumstances of the people who made the music we enjoy today.