Pittsburgh jazz great Roger Humphries to get honorary degree
Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during West Virginia Wesleyan College’s 128th commencement on Saturday.
Humphries became an internationally recognized jazz figure through his work with Horace Silver and others in the mid 1960s. He recorded with Silver on three of his most famous songs, Song for my Father, Cape Verdean Blues, and Jody Grind.
“I am thrilled with this unexpected honor from West Virginia Wesleyan College,” said Humphries in a statement. “As a musician and educator, I have great respect for the work at this institution.”
After returning to the North Side to raise his family, Humphries quickly became active in philanthropy and community engagement. His annual “Boat Ride” jazz cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper has raised money for various initiatives.
For nearly six decades, Humphries has taught and mentored generations of jazz musicians in and around Pittsburgh, including multiple students from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He was the first, and longest serving, percussion instructor at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts high school (CAPA), and his students have gone on to achieve national and international acclaim in jazz and commercial idioms.
Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].