We will get to know about Rick Hirsch together, Friend. It has been less than three weeks since this writer has made his acquaintance - and the words Newly Mesmerized come to mind :) This impressive man is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, band leader and educator of renown. What he has done to put the capital F in Fresh Jazz is mindblowing!
First, there is MUCH education in this artist's background - while in prestigious schools, he was mentored by incredible legends in Jazz. Including Ron Carter and Yusef Lateef - who later commissioned Rick to write music for him. Our guest received his Masters in Jazz Composition from the University of Massachusetts. Summa Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa. So you know that his path was going to be STELLAR!
Rick was an apprentice for Toshiko Akiyoshi and Bob Mintzer. He was their personal music copyist. Whatever he might have learned from their company served him well. He has been awarded fellowships and grants - and (as mentioned) was commissioned to write for the late, great Dr. Lateef - as well as Eddie Henderson and Jackie Allen.
Regarding his expertise on saxophone, Rick has performed with Max Roach, Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Louis Bellson and Phil Woods - are you loving these names all together?! As well, Rick has backed the Four Tops and The Temptations. And has played on the NPR show, "Whaddya Know."
It's as an educator that is a BIG source of satisfaction for this brilliant soul. At the glorious Penn State University (pardon my home state bias!) and other wondrous places, Rick has appeared as guest artist - in clinics that display his engaging teaching style. One so compelling that he is constantly being asked to return. A little tricky for a happy husband and Dad of three fabulous daughters :) You don't want to miss this show: 3/23/17!
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