20th Century Guitar Magazine’s Robert Silverstein calls Rick Stone “one of the finest straight-ahead jazz guitarists on the current NYC scene” and JazzReview.com’s Don Williamson remarks on Rick’s “fluid exposition of ideas, mature technique and deep understanding of the material he plays.” From fresh interpretations of standards, to lyrically evocative originals, 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. His 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). “Samba de Novembro” has received numerous critical accolades and radio airplay making JazzWeek’s Top-50 from September – November of 2004.
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 Cafï¿½ 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). More recently Rick has worked extensively as a sideman with Irene Reid, Ronny Whyte, Carol Sudhalter, Sol Yaged, Warren Chiasson, Eric Person and many others. He is featured on Carol Sudhalter’s “It’s Time” and “Last Train To Astoria”, Al Ashley’s “These Are Them” (with Dave Leibman), and Mary Ann Hurst’s “Born Under A Wandering Star.”
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.