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KELLER RICK (USA)



Rick Keller continues to explore and develop his musical voice. Both a sought after sideman and an artist, Rick is constantly composing and pursuing his own projects which define his commitment to creative expression. He has been inspired by music from many countries as a result of playing in concerts and recordings including such artists as Kofi Misiso, Trilok Gurtu, and countless other international musicians. The beauty of music internationally remains an inspiration for Rick to compose new music for a variety of instrumentation and styles.

Rick spent 17 years playing as a young saxophonist living in central Europe. His technical and advanced understanding of harmony resulted in an impressive list of credits with both live and recordings sessions. Some of the most notable musicians Rick has performed alongside include: Billy Cobham, Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, Al Porcino, Claudio Roditi, George Russel, Charlie Mariano, Bill Bruford, Natalie Cole and many more. Rick’s concert appearances include: North Sea Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, Bratislava Jazz Festival, Burghausen Jazz Festival, Expo 98 Lisbon, Leverkusen Jazz Festival, and Breslau Jazz Festival.

As a leader, Rick assembled certain musicians to perform his own personal style of music. Much of this music was heard at various venues including: Kiama Jazz Festival Australia, Canary Islands Jazz Festival, La Rochelle jazz festival, and The Basement Jazz Club Sydney.

Rick’s first CD release “One Take” celebrated musicians from around the globe. In 2001, Rick recorded “The Instigator” which is a CD that can be best described as colorful, highly emotional and progressive jazz. World class trumpeter Bobby Shew wrote the liner notes and said “Each tune is extremely unique in harmonic and rhythmic structure as well as lyricism. These tunes are all very challenging but the guys in the band really nail everything beautifully. This is a ‘PLAY MANY TIMES’ CD.”

In 2002, Rick made his U.S. debut in Los Angeles becoming acquainted with the L.A. jazz scene. Rick became apart of a deeply established community of some of the world’s finest musicians. Recent releases featuring Rick on Alto, Tenor, Soprano and flute include: Geoff Stradling “Less is Mo”, Chris Walden “Home of my heart Origin”, John Rangel “Morning Pages”, and Steve Huffsteter “Live at the Café 322.”

In addition, Rick realized that Los Angeles is the home of several world renowned big bands which became a part of his itinerary. He was the lead alto saxophonist with Bill Holman for 3 years and has been privileged to play with the big bands of Bobby Shew, Steve Huffsteter, Chris Walden, and Johnny Mandel.

For the past 7 years, Rick has played in a variety of live and recorded sessions and in 2009 began touring in South America with Christopher Cross. This new acoustic quartet helped Rick share his passion for lyrical pop style saxophone playing. Among some of the most notable pop/house recordings featured Rick’s inspired saxophone and flute playing on Morehouse records with the Groove Junkies.

Most recently, Rick has been a featured soloist with the Frankie Valli Band. The group tours extensively throughout the year and you can find Rick in major venues throughout the U.S., Australia, and the UK. The two new releases that feature Rick as a section player are: Shoshana Bean’s “O’Farrell Street” and Danny Seraphine’s (former Chicago drummer) band CTA release “Sacred Ground” (March 2013). The “Sacred Ground” C.D. features Rick’s horn orchestrations representing some of today’s most sophisticated and elaborate horn writing/performances in the pop genre.

Today, Rick is a dedicated educator and frequently teaches master classes at summer camps and schools along with individual instruction in the language of jazz. Having completed his performance degree at the famed University of Miami as well as some masters studies at New England conservatory of music, his teachers included: Ron Miller, Gary Campbell, George Garzone and Vince Maggio.