Rick Hirsch

Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Born: August 10, 1970    

Rick Hirsch

A varied musical diet is all in a day’s work. I've played saxophone with Tito Puente, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Max Roach, the Four Tops, and the Temptations. I've also performed with the Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey Orchestras, on NPR’s Whaddya Know and with living jazz greats Rufus Reid, Conrad Herwig, Bob Mintzer, Tim Hagans, and Phil Woods.

And I've done hundreds (thousands?) of other gigs with loads of other good musicians and bands nobody has ever heard of.

Since moving from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania in 1999, I've garnered notice as a composer and arranger, too, winning two Fellowships in Jazz Composition from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA). For fifteen years I've had music published by the wonderful Walrus Music. But now you can purchase it all directly from me through this website....
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Great writing and blazing alto playing.“ ”Bob Mintzer

The language is rich and daring, and sometimes quite abrasive to my earsbut it’s entirely stimulating!“ ”(Queen guitarist) Brian May

The [VA All-State Jazz Band} loved playing Catch Me if You Can and ate it up!“ ”Miles Osland (UKY Prof. of Jazz Studies & Saxophone)

The kids loved Catch Me if You Can!“ ”PMEA President & Hollidaysburg HS band director Scott Sheehan

Cityscapes is fun, exciting, driving, jazzy, and groovy. It will be a part of our book for as long as we’re together.” ”NJ-based saxophonist Matthew Gramata

Cityscapes is first rate in every way: it is musically worth the effort to play it well, it fits the instruments very well, and it has great audience appeal. I can hardly wait for your next quartet.” ”Lake Saxophone Quartet leader Bill Clarida

Cityscapes was performed tonight in Royal Albert Hall and went down a storm!” ”London (UK)-based saxophonist Ben Drouet

The kids love playing and performing At Last, and people can’t get enough of hearing it. The chart kicks butt.” ”Holicong MS band director Joel Choderoff

We did Great Big Ball... on our Fall concert last night--it rocked the house!“ ”Chris Merz (U of Northern Iowa director of Jazz Studies)

Imaginative, high quality music with interesting content for all players.“ ”Penn State Blue Band director Dr. Richard Bundy

I enjoy the sense of joy and humor you bring to the music. It’s infectious.” ”Wallenpaupack HS band director Eric Warner

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Primary Instrument:

State College, PA

M.M. Individualized Curriculum, Northern Illinois University (1995) studies with Ron Modell, Ron Carter, Steve Duke, Glenn Kostur, Bob Fleisher B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Music, University of Massachusetts— Amherst (1992) studies with Lynn Klock, Yusef Lateef, Jeff Holmes I participated in David Liebman's Chromatic Master Class. Also spent some time with Boysie Lowery, Clifford Brown's improvisation teacher! And I've picked the brains of many other wonderful musicians, including John Riley, Jim McNeeley, Bob Mintzer, and Dennis Mackrel, to name a few. That's the good stuff!

Clinic/Workshop Information:
I have given over 150 workshops to jr. high, sr. high, and college students in Midwest and Northeast. Subjects include: • BEGINNING IMPROVISATION (for all instruments) emphasis on creating comfortable environment for the studentsINTERMEDIATE IMPROVISATION (for all instruments) emphasis on fundamentals of musicianshipADVANCED IMPROVISATION (for all instruments) emphasis on melodic shape, forms, free association attention to nuts-and-bolts, tooBIG BAND STYLE & ENSEMBLE TECHNIQUES emphasis on listening to other members of ensemble, shaping phrases, rhythmic integrity, dynamics, directed listening to source recordingsJAZZ COMBO COACHING emphasis on group interplay & listening, taking charge of the music. attention on nuts-and-bolts, tooCOMPOSER'S BAG-O-TRICKS focus on easy ways to create a solid tonal or modal melodyARRANGING & ORCHESTRATION emphasis on studying source recordings and scores for answers. nuts-and-bolts of instrument usage, form, etcPRACTICAL SKILLS FOR WORKING MUSICIAN dual emphasis on artistic know-how and professional/business skills. **** Past schools include Ithaca College, University of Kentucky, Garden City Community College, Neshaminy HS (Philly), Bucknell University, Penn State University, State College High School (PA) University of Nebraska—Omaha

Alto: 1986 Yamaha 62; Meyer 5M; Rico Jazz Select 2hard/3soft
Tenor: 1935 Selmer Balanced Action/Radio Improved cusp; Meyer 6M; Rico Jazz Select 3soft, unfiled
Baritone: 1981 Yamaha 61; Berg Larsen hard rubber 95/2; Rico 3

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