Born in 1946 in Kansas City, MO, Roger Aldridge discovered jazz as a child thanks to his mother’s collection of big band recordings. Roger started on alto saxophone when he was 9 and developed an interest in composition in his early teens. This led him to study composition & arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
At Berklee, Roger studied jazz composition with Herb Pomeroy and Charlie Mariano, classical composition with William Maloof and John Bavicchi, and woodwinds with Joe Viola. Afterwards, he studied composition with Dr. Robert Wykes, Dr. Stephanie Owen, and Dr. Champ Tyrone. Roger received a B.A. in composition from McKendree University and a M.A. in composition from Highlands University.
After working as a composer-arranger, music director, professional musician, and educator, Roger found that he needed to have a different way to support his family. He made a career change to become an analyst and worked at Southwestern Bell, Bell Atlantic, Fannie Mae, and DecisionPath Consulting for what became a 34-year career. Due to a busy work and family schedule, Roger was away from music for for 12 years.
A business transfer from Missouri to Maryland in 1983 set the stage for new developments in Roger's music. When he started to compose again in 1989 much of the music was directly inspired by his life in Maryland and places that have a deep meaning to him such as the Appalachian Mountains and Chesapeake Bay. During this time he began to explore an interest in fiddle music after hearing old-time fiddle players in West Virginia. It was easy for Roger to envision Appalachian music as an early branch of the jazz family tree.