leader/composer: Rick Wald
trumpets: Bob Millikan, Nick Marchione,
Valery Ponomarev, John Eckert
saxes: Lou Marini (alto/sop/fl.), Loren Stillman (alto/fl.)
Lew Del Gatto (tenor/fl.), Paul Ostermayer (tenor/clarinet)
Gary Smulyan (baritone/bass clarinet)
trombones: Sam Burtis, Keith O'Quinn
Art Baron, George Flynn (bass bone)
piano: Ted Kooshian
bass: Chip Jackson
drums: Jeff Brillinger
After studying composing/arranging with Herb Pomeroy, and saxophone/improvising with Charlie Mariano and Joe Viola at Berklee in Boston, Rick moved to NYC in 1972. He was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for jazz composition in the late '70's and again in the early '80's, and received a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music.
Rick has played in groups led by a number of jazz icons including Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Sam Jones, Tito Puente, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Betty Carter with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra among others. Says Rick, "One of the great things about being a freelance musician in New York is the possibility of playing with older and more experienced master musicians. I've been very fortunate. Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with and learn from great jazz veterans like Sal Nistico, Frank Wess, Charlie Rouse, Snooky Young, Britt Woodman, Jerry Dodgion, Richard Davis, Billy Hart, Bob Brookmeyer, Joe Farrell, Jaki Byard, Jimmy Maxwell, Jimmy Knepper. Man, what an education!"
In 1974 Rick started rehearsing the first of his own groups in NYC, a big band. Rick's writing for that band attracted some of NYC's best young players, and his reputation in the community of NYC jazz musicians as a unique and interesting composer has been enhanced over the years by compositions he wrote for succeeding groups of various sizes. Harvie S, Jack Walrath, Dick Oatts, Randy Brecker, Keith Copeland, Bill O'Connell, Jim McNeely, Sal Nistico, Joey baron, Mike Lawrence and many other great NYC jazz musicians have played in Rick's bands.
Rick feels 16/NYC is the best and most satisfying band he's had to date. "The collective gig experience of the band members is amazing. They've worked with a wide variety of artists -- from Duke Ellington, Dizzy, Elvin Jones, and Art Blakey to Frank Zappa, Blues Brothers, and Sinatra. Amongst the sixteen players they've got every imaginable idiomatic nuance covered, from plunger wailing to 'Trane-like split note screaming. Individually, they all have distinct sounds, and this provides a large palette of colors to choose from and combine in my writing."
"I wanted to be able to stretch out with my writing for this band, even if that meant the individual parts the guy's would have to play were likely to be pretty difficult. But I wanted the band to swing, and not just be an esoteric exercise. Basically I had two goals: to compose music that would be unique, interesting and emotionally affecting for both the players and the listening audience; to have the music serve as a complimentary showcase for a band full of soloists. The music requires sixteen musicians who are great readers with superb chops, understand nuance and know how to blend as a unit, AND who are also all creative soloists who've developed their own sounds. I got everything I needed and then some from the great players in 16/NYC, and there is a wide diversity of solo styles and conceptions in the band. They play with balls as well as finesse, and they really make my music come alive."