In his nine recordings as a leader, critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer Rick Margitza blends the traditions of modern jazz,the melodies of his Eastern European Gypsy heritage and the formal elements of twentieth-century classical music.
After 10 years of non-stop playing and recording, Rick Margitza is back with his latest project as a leader, the Rick Margitza’s Quartet. Joined by renowned french pianist Manuel Rocheman, bassist Peter Giron and drummer Jeff Boudreaux.
One of the most respected musicians of his generation. Excellent tenor and soprano saxophonist, mostly inspired by John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and Wayne Shorter.
Rick Margitza has been playing and recording with the Moutin Reunion Quartet and most recently with Ibrahim Maalouf and his Kalthoum project with Scott Colley, Clarence Penn and Frank Woeste.
“…it sounds great…so many colors and sounds and great tunes, and of course your freakin’ incredible saxophone playing! Definitely a new and cool direction for you…seems like your move to France has been fruitful on so many levels!!”
– Michael Brecker on Bohemia
“… leagues ahead of the typical tenor and rhythm date.”
Penguin guide to Recorded Jazz
“… this is the sound of a fully developed artistic voice at work.”
Tom Moon, Philadelphia Enquirer
“…creates a sound that’s perhaps the most recognizable among the crop of new faces
that have also made names for themselves.”
John Ephland, Downbeat 1997
Rick Margitza Quartet:
Manuel Rocheman: Piano
Peter Giron: Bass.
Jeff Boudreaux: Drums
Rick Margitza Trio:
Scott Colley: Bass
Clarence Penn : Drums
Rick Margitza Big Band*
Rick Margitza Education Master Classes
Born into a musical family on October 24, 1961 in Detroit Michigan, Rick Margitza started playing music at an early age. His paternal grandfather was a Hungarian Gypsy violinist who started Margitza’s musical education by teaching him to play the violin at the age of four. Margitza’s father, a violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra continued his musical education by enrolling him in the piano studio of Mischa Kotler.
Shortly after, Margitza heard a recording by Charlie Parker. His maternal grandfather, a jazz bassist with the Glen Miller band, also played cello on the famed Charlie Parker with strings recording. After hearing Parker on this recording, Margitza switched to the saxophone.
Since then he has studied classical saxophone with Donald Sinta at the university of Michigan, and jazz with Sonny Stitt, Gerry Niewood, Michael Brecker, and David Liebman. He studied at Wayne State University in Detroit, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, the University of Miami, and graduated with a bachelors of music from the Loyola University in New Orleans.
After living in New Orleans, Margitza moved to New York in 1989. He has performed and/or recorded with McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Williams, Eddie Gomez, Chick Corea, Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas and Miles Davis. He has led his own band and performed in clubs, concert halls and festivals around the world. His 10 albums as a leader document the evolution of his playing as well as his growth as a composer.
Margitza has also composed music for orchestra including two symphonies and a saxophone concerto.
He currently lives in Paris and his most recent recording Bohemia, on the French label Nocturne, is his most personal to date. Recorded after moving to Paris in 2003, this project is completely different in style and content from any of his other recordings. The instrumentation ranges from violins, tablas and sitars, to harmonicas, voices and ethnic guitars. Margitza explores his Gypsy roots by tracing the origin of the Romany people from India across Eastern Europe. The music is programmatic in nature with each instrument and theme being a character in the story.
Since moving to Paris, he has been the a professor of arranging and harmony at the former American School of Modern Music in Paris, which is now called IMEP Paris College of Music. He has also given master classes throughout Europe including the Paris Conservatoire at Le Cite De LA Musique, The Royal Conservatory at the Haag in Holland, The Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam and The Helsinki Academy of Finland. Since 2012 he has been part of the band Miles Smiles which is made up of Miles Davis alumni, including members, Joey Defrancesco, Darryl Jones, Robin Ford, Larry Coryell, Omar Hakim and Wallace Roney.
SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY AS A SIDEMAN
Eliane Elias: Kissed By Nature – Blue Note 2002
Miles Davis:Live Around The World – Warner Bros. 1996
Maria Schneider: Coming About – Enja Records 1996
Lenny White: Present Tense – Hip-Bop 1995
Ellis Marsalis: A Night At Snug Harbor – Evidence Records 1995
Eddie Gomez: Next Future – Stretch Records 1993
Steps Ahead: Yin-Yang – NYC Records 1993
Bob Beldon: Straight To the Heart – The Music Of Sting – Blue Note Records 1991
Miles Davis: Amandla – Warner Bros. 1989
Selected Venues Concerts and Festivals
MONTREUX SWITZERLAND – MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVALAs Leader and as sideman with Miles Davis
THE HAGUE-HOLLAND – THE NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL As sideman with Miles Davis
FRANKFURT-GERMANY – FRANKFURT JAZZ FESTIVAL As Leader
WANGARATTA AUSTRALIA – WANGARATT JAZZ FESTIVALAs sideman with Dave Douglas
MONTEREY – MONTERY JAZZ FESTIVAL As sideman with Maria Schneider
NEW ORLEANS – NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE As Leader
SAENGER THEATREAs sideman with Ellis Marsalis
DETROIT – MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL As Leader
LOS ANGELES – PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL As Leader
NEW YORK CITY – CARNEGIE HALL As sideman with McCoy Tyner,Tony Williams, Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson
ELIAT ISRAEL – RED SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL As Leader