Touted as “one of the best guitar players in the world”, a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and creative songwriting Richie Kotzen has had an incredible journey in the world of music. As a solo artist, Kotzen was the opening act for the legendary Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang Tour in Japan.
It all started at the age of seven when Richie learned to play the electric guitar in his hometown of Reading, PA. He formed his first band at the age of twelve and played live gigs around PA, Delaware and New Jersey. When he turned eighteen he headed West to San Francisco and recorded his first album for Shrapnel Records. That year, Kotzen was featured on several magazine covers including Guitar World and was voted one of the Top 3 Best New Guitarist’s of The Year by it’s readers. After recording three albums for Shrapnel Records, Kotzen moved to Los Angeles and it was there that he joined the multi platinum glam metal band POISON and started living the dream!
He recorded the cd Native Tongue with the band and ventured on a world tour in support of the album. His song Stand, reached #4 on MTV’s Most Wanted and was in the Top 20 in BILLBOARD MAGAZINE. That record soon reached platinum status.
After POISION, Kotzen continued recording albums on various labels including Geffen, Shrapnel and JVC until 1999 when he was invited by jazz legend Stanley Clarke to form the band VERTU. They recorded a self titled album for SONY and spent the summer in Europe playing jazz festivals. “It was an honor and a great experience to be in a band with Clarke and the other members.” States Richie.
Later that year Kotzen joined the immensely popular rock band MR. BIG, who are known for their #1 hit song To Be With You. In 1999, they played the Osaka Dome in Japan with AEROSMITH for the coveted Millennium Count Down.
Kotzen wrote 2 studio records with MR BIG and had his first #1 single in Japan with a song called Shine.
Richie continues to make killer solo records and tours around the world with superstar status in several countries, playing stadiums, festivals, and clubs. He has played with other well known musicians like Gene Simmons from KISS, and Keanu Reeves band DOGSTAR where he has made cameo performances on stage, including Television performances with the band on Jay Leno and Regis and Kelly.
Kotzen is one of the few artists to be honored by Fender Guitar with not one, but two signature model guitars of which the Kotzen Telecaster guitar has repeatedly been the #1 selling signature model guitar for Fender Japan.
Kotzen has amassed a 30 plus album discography and he is just getting warmed Up…
“Touring and making music is my life. It is all I have ever done. I am very grateful to all the people around the world who have made that possible” Richie humbly says.
Richie resides in Los Angeles and enjoys spending time with his daughter August. His hobbies include basketball and playing poker. At times you might catch him jamming with other music superstars.