Rich's musical talents began
to flourish at an early age. As a young man growing up in Philadelphia,
his group played for school functions, private parties, weddings,
and family functions of all sorts. He was selected to appear
on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and despite a performance that
brought enthusiastic audience response, he came in first runner-up in
that competition. However, it was a young Barbra Streisand who
won that night. Placing second to a performing legend such
as her seems acceptable.
Rich's passion for playing the drums
continued to grow as he became a young adult. His formal instruction
was with Joe Morello of Dave Brubeck Quartet fame. Joe introduced
Rich to the New York City jazz scene where he was afforded the
unique experience of learning from great jazz legends. During
these years, he spent many hours in the company of legendary talents
Mel Torme, Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones
and Marian McPartland. The New York jazz community proved to
be a classroom for Rich that served to define his artistic drumming
style and his love for the art of Jazz.
While serving as
an officer in the U.S. Navy, Rich met Tony Galena who was the principal
piano player at the world famous Top of the Sixes in New York City
prior to entering the Navy. Rich and Tony practiced together
at every opportunity as music became the bright spot during an otherwise
dangerous and difficult time. During "leaves," Rich and Tony
would seek out the local USO's and entertain the military personnel.
After leaving the Navy, Rich and Tony added a bass player and continued
to play venues in NYC and Philadelphia.
In addition to his musical
training, Rich holds a Bachelor's Degree from Villanova University
and a Master's Degree from Fordham University.
performed in various venues in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Chicago and
is fortunate to play with many of the great musicians in the North
Texas area. His style is often described as melodic and tasteful.