Born: September 13, 1961 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Straight up, I was raised in a country club, but I found my calling in a jazz club. Looking back over the last twenty years, it is amazing to recall all of the work, sacrifice, and faith that went into becoming an entertainer. I’ve found myself on many different stages with some very talented musicians. I’ve played blues in the likes of Manhattan’s Terra Blue and Manny’s. I’ve played my original pieces at the Hampton’s fabled Stephan’s Talkhouse and Philadelphia’s intimate Tin Angel. I’ve opened up for the likes of Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire. And oddly enough, too many country clubs to list here.
To be honest, some days I feel more like a bandleader than a guitarist or singer. I’ve actually learned to embrace this though, for one quickly learns that “entertainment” is what you truly have to offer an audience, making each and every performance unique. Having a diverse repertoire and various ensembles to work with has always served me well.
The last five years have seen me fall head over heels with the music of Ellington, Waller, Carmichael, and Porter, but more so I have fallen for the audiences that appreciate and seek out jazz, for they are every much a part of a great performance as the musicians. So if you happen to see my name on a marquee or club listing, join me, and I promise you’ll fall in love in love with the music like this fool has… “Heart and Soul.”
They say “with age comes wisdom.” In Rich’s case, it also brought a little schooling in the blues, as well as a big dose of rock & roll. Every now and then, just to get a little rise out of an audience, Jenkins relies on his “Education” and plays a down home version of a Rolling Stones classic between such standards as Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” or “Is you Is, or Is You Ain’t my Baby,” The result is always the same, everyone in the room, both young and old are glad they are in the house!
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Attended Marywood University, majored in performance and theory. Available for lessons Teusdays & Thursdays. $40/hr.