What’s Hot With Jazz Guitar: Rick Stone

by Doc Dosco

This week we feature jazz guitarist Rick Stone. I happened upon Rick Stone's website much by accident several years ago, however I'm glad I did. I had heard of him before, but never really satdown and checked out his playing.

Rick Stone is a wonderful player, a skilled technician with a flowing, melodic style. He owns his own commercial recording studio, his own record label, and has released some very good CDs under his name. In addition, Rick Stone is sought after as an educator, giving lessons and doing clinics all over the US.

Rick Stone's Online Bio:

From fresh interpretations of jazz standards, to lyrically evocative originals, New York City based guitarist Rick Stone is an artist with a clear musical vision. His fluid, full-bodied sound pays homage to the great jazz guitar masters of the past while maintaining a personal style with a contemporary edge.

Rick's latest release “Samba de Novembro” showcases his guitar in a variety of solo, duo, trio and quartet settings along with long-time associates Tardo Hammer (piano) and Yosuke Inoue (bass), and special guest Matt Wilson (drums). Writes Jim Carlton in Just Jazz Guitar “His lyrical lines and imaginative ideas on a mix of originals and hip standards reflect his maturity as an interpreter of great tunes and his mastery as an artistically adept player. His tone is bright and crisp, some would say traditional, and his ideas are fresh.”

Rick Stone began playing guitar at age nine in his hometown of Cleveland. He developed an early affinity for the blues, but it was in the mid-seventies that his passion for jazz was sparked after hearing a live performance of saxophonist Sonny Stitt. His musical quest led him to Berklee College of Music and then on to New York where he found a fertile and stimulating environment in Barry Harris' Jazz Cultural Theatre. While studying with the legendary pianist, Rick honed his craft sitting in alongside veteran players Tommy Flanagan, Lionel Hampton, Clarence “C” Sharpe, and Junior Cook. Then, under the tutelage of jazz masters Jimmy Heath, Ted Dunbar, Donald Byrd, Tony Purrone and Hal Galper, he earned his M.A. at Queens College.

Soon Rick began developing a reputation in his own right, leading all-star groups with sidemen like Kenny Barron, Eric Alexander, Vernel Fournier, Richard Wyands, Ralph Lalama, Dennis Irwin and Billy Hart in performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, The Smithsonian Institute, The Blue Note and Birdland. His recordings “Blues For Nobody” and “Far East” achieved wide critical acclaim. From 1993-96 Rick led a series of guitar duos at the Swing Street Caf? with guests including Mark Elf, Roni Ben-Hur, Peter Leitch, Freddie Bryant and Peter Bernstein. In 1996 his trio toured South America, and from 1997-2001 he played regularly at Sette MoMA (in the Museum of Modern Art). A sought-after sideman, Rick has worked extensively with Irene Reid, Ronny Whyte, Carol Sudhalter, Sol Yaged and many others. He is featured on Carol Sudhalter's “It's Time” and “Last Train To Astoria”, and Al Ashley's “These Are Them” (with Dave Leibman).

An active educator, Rick currently teaches at JazzMobile, Hofstra University and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He is a regular columnist for Just Jazz Guitar magazine, and a contributing artist to several jazz guitar volumes by Mel Bay Publications. His clinics have won accolades at the International Association of Jazz Educators, Music Educators National Conference and numerous colleges and universities. He has received two IAJE Awards for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education and several NEA performance fellowships.

Read on at Rick's homepage:


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc now endorses Peerless Guitars and has the website Jazz Guitar Zone to help promote Peerless jazz guitars in the US. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!)

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