Guitarist Charley Rich studied privately with notables Joe Monk and Harry Leahy. At Stony Brook, he focused on composition, studied with Richard Dyer-Bennet and then spent a year at Berklee College of Music. After college he played the club scene in NYC, performed for impresario Sid Bernstein, studied classical guitar with Jerry Willard and took a fascinating lesson with Ralph Towner.
Charley has played with many bands and done solo gigs such as opening up the first 20th Century Classic American Guitar Show on Long Island. He spent several years prior to this new CD performing and recording with the Long Island group, Sun, Moon and Stars.
Teachers and/or influences?
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I wanted to be a musician since high school. While I started playing an instrument around 8, I became highly motivated about it in high school with my first jazz-rock band.
Your sound and approach to music:
Melody. Tone. Tell a story
Your teaching approach:
Find what gets them excited musically and teach within that context. Learning should always be fun.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Pushing the band equipment on sleds up a hill to a college dormitory where we were playing.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
"Mythology." It is a bebop big band tune. I had so much fun tracking the horn parts on midi guitar.
Tommy Emmanuel and Frank Vignola. Just Between Frets.
Desert Island picks:
Tommy Emmanuel, Only;
Ralph Towner , Diary;
The Allman Brothers Band, Live at the Fillmore East.
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Seems forgotten in today's mobile culture. It is one of the greatest things to come out of the US, but pop culture has just overwhelmed it. I would like to see it taught as something authentically American in public schools.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Education and exposure.
What is in the near future?
Promoting my new CD, By Myself.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Product Management and Marketing in the IT industry
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.