Richie Zellon (guitarist, composer, arranger and educator) was born in Lima, Peru of American and Brazilian parents. Since the early 1980's he has been a pioneer of what is often referred to as the sudaca or South American jazz movement.
AS ARTIST, in Peru he recorded his first album, Landologia in 1982 for the Fonovox label. The recording featured Zellon's unique compositions merging the percussive music of Peru's black population with jazz for the first time resulting in what has become known as Afro-Peruvian Jazz. Legendary American jazz musician, Jimmy Heath who met Zellon during one of his performances in Peru and was intrigued by his unique style, wrote the liner notes. Upon moving to Central Florida in the late 80’s he worked for 3 years as guitarist with the late Jesse Stone (co-founder of Atlantic Records and producer for Ray Charles & many jazz and R&B stars).
Between 1995 and 2000 he produced over 20 internationally critically acclaimed CDs for Songosaurus, an independent record label that introduced new Latin Jazz artists from different countries. During this period he had the opportunity to produce, record and perform with some of the most influential musicians both in the mainstream and latin jazz genres. Among them Paquito D’ Rivera, Alex Acuna, David Leibman, Jerry Bergonzi, Danilo Perez, Abraham Laboriel,Dave Samuels, George Garzone, Sam Rivers and Ignacio Berroa to name a few. Due to his innovations in the field of jazz and latin music he has been profiled in several books on the history of Latin Jazz such as “Caliente: Una Historia del Jazz Latino” by Luc Delanoy and “El Diccionario de Latin Jazz” by Nat Chediak and “The Jazz Guitar: Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1900” by Maurice J. Summerfield.