Ricky Ford

Nov 24, 2019

Ricky Ford
Credit Jazz Forum Arts

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #271 (November 24 at 8:00 p.m.)

Ricky Ford is a complete artist. As a wanted sideman, a prolific composer, a unique teacher, an artistic director of the Toucy Jazz Festival that he founded in 2008 in French region Bourgogne, a surprising painter, the tenor saxophonist has been exploring different aspects of art throughout his career.

Born on March 4th, 1954, he was trained at the New England Conservatory of Music as soon as 1968. His teachers were Gunther Schuller, Ran Blake, Jaki Byard, George Russell, Joe Allard et Joseph Maneri before Mercer Ellington invited him to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra just a few months after the passing of Duke Ellington and Paul Gonsalves.

Then, he went on to work with Charles Mingus (1976-1977), Dannie Richmond (1978-1981), Lionel Hampton (1980-1982), Abdullah Ibrahim (1983-1990), Mal Waldron (1989-1994), not forgetting the many recording sessions with Yusef Lateef, Sonny Stitt, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Amina Claudine Myers, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Steve Lacy, to just name a few.

As a comprehensive musician, Ford has always strived to master different musical genres, from swing to hard bop to free, and focusing more closely for these past years on the works of Turkish poet and musician Neyzen Tevfik (1879-1953).

As a leader, Ricky Ford has recorded 21 albums and authored a vast repertoire of originals. The musician has proved to have sharp knowledge and is continually looking for new forms of expression. Ford is also a unique arranger and conductor. From 1985 to 1996 he led Brandeis University’s big band, arranging the works of composers whose music had never been played by big bands.

When he settled in Paris in the 1990s, he created another big band before moving to Turkey to teach at the Istanbul Bilgi University (2000-2006).

(provided by Jazz Hot)