Born in Magnolia, Arkansas on November 1, 1954. Started playing trombone in 1965 while a fifth
grade student in Warren, Arkansas. Moved from El Dorado, Arkansas, to Long Beach, California in
June 1969 prior to starting ninth grade at Jefferson Junior High School (now Middle School).
Started playing bass trombone in October 1971 as a junior at Woodrow Wilson High School in
Long Beach. Graduated from Wilson HS in 1973 as part of the same class that produced noted
saxophonist Dan Higgins, who also arranged the first two bass trombone features that Rich
would play. Subsequently attended Long Beach City College and California State University at
Long Beach through 1977. Has been employed at Boeing (formerly Rockwell International) in a
variety of administrative scheduling positions since November 1981 in order to support his music
habit. He is the proud father of nineteen year old Julianne, a graduate of Long Beach Wilson High
School (her dads alma mater!) and junior at UCLA. Is also a voiceover actor with several narration
credits (commercial demo available on request!).
Performed and recorded with the Don Ellis Orchestra from 1975-1978. Joined Bill Watrous
Refuge West Big Band in 1978 and, after a hiatus of several years in the 1980s, continues to be a
regular member of the band to this day (WHOS GOT THE HEAT?). Toured with Harry James and
Al Hirt in 1980. Since the early 1980s has also performed and/or recorded with the big bands of
Tom Kubis, Gordon Goodwin, Paul Cacia, Bill Perkins, Matt Catingub, Ladd McIntosh, Woody
Herman (post Woody), Jack Sheldon, George Graham, George Stone, Joey Altruda, Wayne
Bergeron, Buddy Bregman, Chris Walden, Dirk Fischer, Gary Urwin, Scott Whitfield, Phil Woods,
and the Ron Jones Influence Jazz Orchestra. Has been a trombonist (and vocalist, sort of) with
Tracy Wells Big Band since 1975. Popular artists performed or recorded with include Peaches
and Herb (remember disco?), Bob Welch, the LA Boppers, Toni Tennille (with Matt Catingub),
Chicago (with Bill Watrous), Natalie Cole, Steve Allen (with Tom Kubis), Johnny Mathis, Bobby
Caldwell, Lou Rawls, Paul Anka, Bernadette Peters, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Robert
Goulet, Collin Raye, Lorna Luft, Patti Austin, Michael Bolton, Chris Botti, Luis Miguel and many
more. Since the late 1970s has been more or less (mostly less) involved with freelance motion
picture and television recording. Was a frequent performer for the Long Beach Civic Light Opera
from 1985-1995. Has performed occasionally with the Long Beach Opera, Opera Pacific, Long
Beach Symphony and Pacific Symphony since the late 1980s. Performed with the Long Beach
Municipal Band as a regular member and substitute from 1973 (pre-Proposition 13) until 2007.
Was part of the all-star band that performed for the world premiere of the show Like Jazz at the
Mark Taper Forum from November 2003 to January 2004. Has recently been working on the
scores for the animated series "Family Guy" and "American Dad".