Richie Cole Quartet featuring
Rio Clemente on Piano
Gene Perla: Bass
$15 pp music charge $7 pp minimum (food/drink)
Richie started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his home town of Trenton, New Jersey. Influenced by Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Cole’s talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” style in the 70’s and early 80’s.
Cole has performed and recorded with the great vocalese artist Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson, to name just a few of his musical collaborations. Notably, Cole has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall as well as gave a command performance for the Queen of England.
Cole has recorded over 50 albums and CDs, including his top hit album “Hollywood Madness” (1979 Muse Records) and his tribute album to Leonard Bernstein, “Richie Cole Plays West Side Story” (1997 Music Masters Jazz). A prolific composer, Cole also finds time to arrange for full big bands, symphony orchestras and frequent performances at jazz festivals worldwide. Moreover, he enjoys sharing his love of music with younger generations and is active recording, touring and presenting university master classes.
Cole was appointed to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts where he served as chairman for one year. He is also a charter member of the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 2005 he was awarded the State of California Congressional Certificate of Lifetime Achievement in Jazz on behalf of the Temecula Jazz Society. Richie Cole is recognized worldwide for the sweet sounds of his alto saxophone and the creativity behind his Alto Madness Orchestra.
The Alto Madness Orchestra was developed by Cole in the early 90’s and its continuing popularity is proof of its uniqueness. As Richie explains, “The idea of the Orchestra is the concept and sound of an eighteen-piece big band using only seven instruments, four of which are horns. Not only does this have the big band ensemble sound, it also allows us plenty of room for improvisation as if we were in a quartet setting.”
MASTER JAZZ PIANIST
A native of Morristown, NJ, Rio Clemente is a member of its Hall of Fame. He has been named Professional Artist of the Year by the Arts Council of the Morris Area, New Jersey Monthly Magazine has named him among its “Top 40 New Jersians” and the New Jersey Jazz Society has named him Musician of the Year.
Rio’s career began with a BMI scholarship for musical theater and subsequent studies at Juilliard School of Music. A grant for new composers followed from Broadway Tomorrow. Along with his classical training, Rio developed a style embracing a diversity of music, including jazz, that makes him a most expressive and versatile pianist.
After several television appearances, Rio advanced to playing at the JVC Jazz Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. He has entertained audiences in Europe, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and Antigua. He has performed at the United Nations and has appeared with the Jefferson Symphony in Golden, CO, with the Livingston (NJ) Symphony and with ensemble groups like the Morris Choral Society and Orchestra.
He has performed from coast to coast for senators, governors, mayors and other dignitaries. He has played jazz clubs from Manhattan to Cape Cod and from Florida to California. He has also performed with Florence Henderson, Carol Lawrence, Norm Crosby and Jack Carter in the Florida Follies
In New York, Rio has appeared at Manhattan’s famed Iridium Jazz Club with the Les Paul Trio; Birdland., the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, The West Bank Café’s Laurie Beechman Theater, the New York Friars Club, the Sylvia & Danny Kaye Theatre at Hunter College; Rainbow Room and the Player’s Club just to name a few venues.
He has recorded under contract for Holland labels, Showplace Music Productions and has published ten CDs under his own Etnemelc Music Productions label. As a composer, he has written a number of selections ranging from Gospel to Latin, and orchestral arrangements. In collaboration with lyricist/author Carmine Lombardo, Rio has composed the music for four musicals including the family musical, “Dare To Dream.” He has also performed Dave Brubeck’s Mass “To Hope! A Celebration.” (Dave Brubeck has written, “Rio Clemente is EXCELLENT!”)
Rio has recorded with bassist Milt Hinton, and prepared a feature CD on Richard Rodgers that led Linda Rodgers to say, “Rio plays my father’s music better than anyone I ever heard.” And comedian Freddy Roman has said, “I want to open for you!
As a music educator, Rio has served as music director for the Generations of Jazz program of the New Jersey Jazz Society.
Rio’s latest accomplishment was performing at the White House representing the United States Coast Guard and all Auxiliaries. He has also been given the honor of being selected as Auxiliarist of the Year for exemplary service from Sector New York, United States Coast Guard.