Victor "Red" Atkins' style of piano has been described as "infectious, unconventional, tasteful, and powerful" all at the same time. Hailing from Selma, Alabama, he began playing with NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis in 1989 and was an integral part of the seminal, work "Pontius Pilate's Decision."
After receiving a B.A. from Berklee College of Music in Boston and an M.F.A. from the Manhattan School of Music, Victor has toured and performed with an impressive list of artists including Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Aaron Neville, Nnenna Freelon, Brian Blade, Lalah Hathaway, and Nicholas Payton.
Professor Atkins receives numerous commissions from the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and other groups, such as collaborating and performing with Delfeayo Marsalis on his re-working of Duke Ellington's "Such Sweet Thunder," a tribute to William Shakespeare. Professor Atkins also performs with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and is a sought-after arranger. He is also well-known for his work with the Grammy-winning, New Orleans-based Los Hombres Calientes, which produced an innovative brand of Latin jazz that can be heard on their Volumes 1-5. His adaptations of works by Bach and other classical composers have been called "brilliant examples of the fluidity of jazz and the breaking down of musical barriers."
Professor Atkins is actively involved in the musical direction of his church, and spends as much time as possible with his wife and three young children, including twins.
At UNO, Professor Atkins teaches theory and composition, jazz keyboard, and applied piano.