Introducing Rick Bogart, a remarkable artist who has officially joined the ranks of Blue Pie Records, marking an exhilarating collaboration. Rick Bogart, renowned for his mastery of the jazz clarinet, his captivating vocal skills, and his brilliant compositions, has been hailed as “ONE OF THE GREAT CLARINETISTS OF OUR ERA” by Danny Stiles of WNYC Radio, New York’s esteemed Public Broadcasting System on 93.9FM AM 820.
Rick’s journey into music commenced at a tender age, as he embarked on formal training under the guidance of Mr. Reader, a retired Big Band musician. This was a pivotal moment when he transitioned from gumming the tenor sax to delving into the blues, learning that “before anything else,” the blues held a special place in music’s heart.
While Rick received formal education in theory, harmony, and composition at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and North Texas State University, he acknowledges that his true schooling unfolded at the traditional yet unofficial New Orleans School of Music. There, in his relentless pursuit of restoring the clarinet to its prominence as a lead instrument, he also found himself captivated by musicians who possessed the gift of song.
As they say in New Orleans, “If you can sing, sing.” And sing Rick did. As a musician-singer, he brings an irresistible element of swing to his performances. He fondly recalls the influence of great vocalists like Thomas Jefferson and cherishes the nights spent playing alongside him.
Rick Bogart’s repertoire is a treasure trove of what NEWSWEEK recently dubbed the “classical music of the 20th century.” His selections include timeless gems like “My Blue Heaven,” “Don’t Be That Way,” “Begin The Beguine,” “On The Sunny Side Of The Street,” “If I Could Be With You,” “Exactly Like You,” and “Lady Be Good.” His appreciation extends to other styles, such as be-bop and avant-garde, but what truly inspires him is the way the great musicians of the past respected the melody, constantly revisiting it to ensure it resonated with the audience.
Bogart laments the dwindling popularity of the clarinet and has embarked on a mission to restore it to its rightful place as a lead instrument. He identifies three primary reasons for its decline: its inherent difficulty compared to the more accessible tenor saxophone, a shift in musical trends away from the clarinet, and alterations made to cater to the needs of young school players, which changed its sound. To combat this, many professional clarinetists, including Bogart, have their instruments customized to recapture that rich, resonant tone reminiscent of the legendary Boosey and Hawkes 10-10.
Rick Bogart’s artistry has recently graced stages around the world, with concerts at the University of Donetsk and the Kiev Opera House in Ukraine, sponsored by the AMS Corp. He has also performed at the United Nations in New York and engaged in a captivating question-and-answer session with the U.N. Society Jazz Band. As we join forces with this exceptional talent at Blue Pie Records, we eagerly anticipate the musical journey ahead.
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