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Rich Hill / Bio

As a kid in elementary school I took trombone lessons and played in the school band. In middle school I learned piano by ear. In my later teens, I played rock, rhythm and blues in regional bands and backed some of the real cats such as Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, Junior Parker, and Johnny Taylor. Got into the Hammond organ and, in the hippie/psychedelic era, banged around KC and opened shows for the Chambers Brothers, Albert King, and Frank Zappa. Spent a year in New York taking in the arts panorama, playing in Greenwich Village and hearing a lot of music legends. Developed some jazz chops and began playing with KC area musicians including elders who had been active in the 30s, 40s, and 50s such as Step-Buddy Anderson and Speedy Huggins. Became a friend of Bruce Ricker and hung around the edges of his filming of "The Last Of the Blue Devils", the great documentary about Kansas City jazz focusing on Count Basie and Joe Turner. Began hanging out at the Mutual Musicians Foundation's weekend overnight jams, meeting some of that beautiful generation of musicians, and developing an appreciation of KC jazz history. Got into Alec Wilder's 1973 book "American Popular Song," learned a lot of songs, and developed ambitions as a singer. Had a locally successful band (meaning we worked all the time) with singer Ida McBeth in the early 80s . Among highlights of that association: we opened a Ray Charles concert, made a couple of trips to NYC to play industrial shows, and produced a popular recording. Ida and I split, and I continued playing with KC locals such as Carmel Jones, and also backed players such as Steve Cropper, Lockjaw Davis and Slide Hampton as they passed through town. I began working as a single pianist/vocalist in the mainstream style doing the standards of Sinatra, Astaire, Nat "King" Cole. Meanwhile, took a M.A. in Music at UMKC's Conservatory in the 90s and began giving jazz piano lessons there. Played a stint at the bar in Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel and returned to KC where I've been playing solo and small group gigs, and developing various projects ever since. I feel very lucky to be pursuing my goals in the musical arts as a performer and educator.

General Info

Band Members
Rich Hill - Vocals, Charles Perkins - Saxophone, Various musicians - Other
Artist Name
Rich Hill
Home Page
Jazz / Piano/Vocal/Organ / Samba/Bossa/R&B/Soul/HardBop/Contemporary/Experime

Contact Info

Kansas City, MO

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