Rick Stone Spotlight

"Ballad for the Very Sad and Very Tired Lotus Eaters" from his CD Fractals
TGS Spotlight Player from January 19, 2012

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

Rick is a respected teacher at Jazzmobile, BCM, Hofstra and other colleges and has recently launched the educational website His trio performs regularly at the Garage, the Bar Next Door and other NYC venues. In 2010 and 2011 he toured Italy extensively as a guest artist and clinician.

Rick's latest CD Fractals (2011) features his working trio with bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Tom Pollard. Says Tim Fischer in Just Jazz Guitar "Stone comes across as a solid bebop guitarist, updating his harmonic and melodic language to include the developments of the younger generation of New York guitarists. Odd-time modifications to standards, wide-interval exercises, and exotic modal intros are just a few of the more modern devices Stone explores throughout the album."

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 like 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 was developing a reputation in his own right, leading all-star groups with musicians like Kenny Barron, Eric Alexander, Vernel Fournier, Richard Wyands, Ralph Lalama, Dennis Irwin and Billy Hart in performances at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, The Smithsonian Institution, The Blue Note and Birdland. His recordings Blues For Nobody, Far East and Samba de Novembro have achieved wide critical acclaim. Writes David Adler in JazzTimes "His custom archtop sounds exquisite . . . deft, contrapuntal intros and subtle reharmonizations . . . Stone's axe work is articulate but never rigid, impeccably clean yet well-versed in dirt."

In the ‘90s Rick led a series of guitar duos at the Swing Street Café with guests including Peter Bernstein, Mark Elf, Roni Ben-Hur, Peter Leitch and Freddie Bryant, toured South America with his trio, and played regularly at Sette MoMA, followed by a five year stint with swing clarinetist Sol Yaged (2002-2007). A sought-after sideman, Rick has worked with Irene Reid, Ronny Whyte, Vince Giordano and Eric Person, and is featured on CD's by Carol Sudhalter, Al Ashley (with Dave Leibman), Mary Ann Hurst, and Carol Leven.

Rick has written for Just Jazz Guitar, Jazz Guitar Life, and several Mel Bay Publications. His clinics have won accolades at IAJE, MENC and numerous colleges and universities. He has received two IAJE Awards for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education and several NEA performance fellowships.

Visit Rick Stone's website at

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