Meet VETERAN SAXOPHONIST
The Chicago born native became interested in music at the early age of eight when his mom gave him a guitar for Christmas. At the age of 15 he began studying music and woodwinds under Louis Gray, high school band director (Crane HS).
His first performance was playing at high school graduation, and he says he was greatly influenced by Grover Washington Jr., Crusaders, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder. He moved to the Caribbean where he continued to pursue his musical career.
He studied privately in St. Croix with jazz woodwinds player James (Jimmy) Hamilton, a 27-year veteran of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Mekiel says,” I use to watch Hamilton perform from the back of the club where he worked. Then we became friends, and he taught me the “Art of Reservation,” and how to enhance my playing style.”
He also studied with Benny Jacob El (a graduate of Juilliard School of Music) and while living in St. Croix he learned calypso, reggae, Latin, and other Caribbean rhythms. After several years of touring and playing with several theatrical dance companies in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mekiel returned to the United States and moved to Los Angeles, to further his career aspirations.
Following his dream of becoming a recording artist, he continued his music studies with the legendary saxophonist Bill Greene (improvisation lessons). He also studied music and marketing at Los Angeles City College and West Los Angeles City College. Mekiel had over a hundred compositions under his belt, starting his own label with the name of MekMuse Records.
He now has several releases to his credit:
(1994) “Miles Away” (a dedication to Miles Davis),
(1996), “Simply Peaceful,”
(2000) “Shadows of Love,”
(2005) “Hangin' in the Moonlight”
(2009) “Cookin’ in East L.A”.
(2012) .”If you were here tonight.”
(2019) M.R. Mekiel Reuben
(2020) Chances Are What They Are
Mekiel is influenced by the community, culture and sounds of his hometown Chicago to a fruitful life in the Caribbean. As a young man, he was drawn to music. He understands the power of sound and his performance speaks to fans across the musical spectrum.
His signature sound and style are instantly recognizable that others artist emulate. You can hear his music on: Smoothjazz.com.
Spotify, Soundcloud and other digital stages, His career at an important crossroads that could see him burst onto the international charts.
"Chances Are What They Are" will be the 8th album for Mekiel Reuben on MekMuse Records and he is very excited about this project. It has been 17 years since walking into the Moonlight Studios in Los Angeles meeting David Vasquez, one of the most amazing arranger and producer he has ever met.
This will be the 5th album for Mekiel working with David V. and he feel this is one of the best projects they have put together. Mekiel says it's has been blessing to have David to help him developed his melodies into arrangement.
In September 2019 a creative spell came over Mekiel and he started writing melody after melody and since he met David all of his ideas are coming to fruition "Chances Are What They Are" started September 2019 after receiving another chance at life when I recovered from an illness Mekiel said, "This album is a testimony of my journey growing up in the USA and St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands and my travels around the world."
The influence of R&B, Jazz, Calypso, Reggae and other Latin rhythms has giving him an opportunity to share this life in music with you, hoping you will share my enthusiasm enjoying this ride of this creation of music.
Working with great creative musicians like David Vasquez - Keyboards, Synth Bass, Phil Martin Drums and Mauricio Guerrero Jr. – Guitar has made this project possible.
In 2002 Mekiel began working as a sideman with the legendary” Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm” and toured Europe, Japan and North America performing in several Blues and Jazz festivals and at Montreux jazz festival in Switzerland they recorded the album, Live at Montreux” The Resurrection of Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm,” on the French label Isabel Records – Blues Power series.
Mekiel Reuben has dedicated his talent and time for over two decades to disable students at the LAUSD, Benjamin Banneker Special Education Center when he is not on tour or performing.
He has brought great joy to disabled students with music. He now resides in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands and has been a regular jazz artist at the famous “Buccaneer hotel “Christiansted, St. Croix US Virgin Islands during the tourist season. So, keep your eyes open and ears tuned for this musician / producer / composer, Mekiel Reuben to be the next new rising Smooth Jazz Artist.
What THE Coffee Talk Jazz Radio Fans are saying about Mekiel's music........
"Digging the recording "Just Like The Radio" it's nice and clear,smooth."
Steve Ehrlich - Coffee Talk Jazz Radio fan (6) years
"Nice sound, Stays with the main melody".
Tom Sheldon - CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio fan (7 years
"Good melody. A little different". I think it was very original!".
Celeste Cooper CoffeeTalk Radio fan (4 years0 Loyal listerns
"Tastefully put together song. Good instrumentation and melody. Good job." Pricilla Stone
CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio fan (5 years)