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.