Richie Summa hails from Stamford, Connecticut, where he studied guitar with Sal Salvador, one of the jazz greats. Richie continued his studies with Sal at the University of Bridgeport, where he received his music degree. During the course of his career, Summa backed such diversified musicians, performers and entertainers as:
Englebert Humperdinck, Julie Andrews, The Fifth Dimension, Della Reese, Connie Francis, Bobby Vinton, The Drifters, Bob Hope, Rich Little, Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, Mary Wells, and Tony Award winners Anthony Quinn, Joel Grey, Donna McKecknie, and Frankie Michaels.
Summa has also performed in the Broadway orchestra of "La Cage Aux Folles," and with touring productions of "Cabaret," "Zorba," and "A Chorus Line."
Richie took a three year hiatus from the music business to earn a law degree from the Florida State University School of Law. He now lives and practices law in Tallahassee, Florida.
More recently, Richie embarked on his recording career, issuing two CDs, "Alone Together," and "Tear It Down." "Alone Together" features Richie on solo guitar and vocals. In this setting he is reminiscent of Joe Pass on guitar and Chet Baker on vocals. On "Tear It Down," Richie shuns the microphone to showcase his guitar artistry in the quartet setting, with piano, bass and drums. With his quartet, Summa pays tribute to some of his favorite guitarists, offering his personal take on tunes written or recorded by Wes Montgomery ("Tear It Down," "Road Song," "Phoenix Love Theme," "Musty"), George Benson ("Affirmation"), and Pat Martino ("On The Stairs"). Apart from these tributes to the masters, Richie provides four original tunes which demonstrate his own style, influence and contribution to the jazz guitar repetoire. Notably among these is "Blues for Sal," dedicated to his long-time mentor.
If Richie Summa's goal for his CD "Tear It Down" is to successfully continue the tradition of great modern jazz guitarists, he certainly accomplishes that goal... Summa's playing demonstrates a delightfully light and deft approach to his instrument. Summa is also an inventive improviser... The musicianship on "Tear It Down" is of an unquestionably high caliber... For those who enjoy jazz guitar in particular, and those who enjoy pleasant sounding music in general, Richie Summa has put together a nice recording that would be a welcome addition to a collection.
Craig W. Hurst -- allaboutjazz.com
Richie Summa's second album continues down the same mainstream road as his first, this time with a playlist of originals and jazz tunes, mostly by other guitarists, all performed with skill and taste... His respect for the melody is obvious even when he is improvising... His soothing ballad "Until Sunrise (A Song for Poppy)" is one of the premier tracks on the CD. Here the amps are turned down with the result that there is a clean-cut expression of the melody. Even on upbeat material, such as "Tear It Down," Summa's objective is to expose all nuances of the song rather than demonstrating how fast he can play or how many chords he gets from his box... The entire session has a feel of creative spontaneity which will please admirers of classic jazz guitar. Recommended.
Dave Nathan -- allmusicguide.com