Soph was raised in Houston, Texas. He enrolled at North Texas State University (University of North Texas) in 1963 as a music major but switched his concentration to English during his sophomore year. While at North Texas, he performed with the One O’Clock Lab Band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Stan Kenton. He graduated in 1968 and joined Woody Herman on a recommendation from Cannonball Adderley. He moved to New York City in 1971 and began performing and recording freelance.
Soph has worked with Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Bill Evans, Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Joe Henderson, Pat LaBarbera, Bill Mays, Cedar Walton, Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, Carl Fontana, and Slide Hampton.
He pursued a teaching career while working on the faculty at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshop, the National Stage Band Camp and the University of Bridgeport. He returned to Texas in 1987 and taught Jazz Studies and Performance at the University of North Texas. Soph was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2016 and retired in 2017. His former students include Ari Hoenig, Keith Carlock, Jason Sutter, and Dave Weckl. Advertisement
For more info, visit jazz.unt.edu/soph