RitcheDeraney.com - Home Home Music Gigs Hang Tuff Blog Contact RitcheDeraney.com Ritche Deraney Ritche Deraney has to play jazz guitar. It’s not a question of just liking it, it’s an obsession with both the art form and the instrument. He plays with precision. He plays with heart. He plays with a deep understanding of tradition, but doesn’t forget to play his way. To keep his chops together, Ritche maintains a schedule that would make a Buddhist monk smile. Up at the crack of dawn, meditation, exercise, then he sits down for a six-string workout. That’s all before he goes to his day job, working with me over at DownBeat magazine. As day jobs go, it’s a good place to be if you have an obsession with jazz, and a deeper obsession with jazz guitar. At night, Ritche gigs in between his other two passions–family (his absolute central passion) and martial arts. The man packs more into a day than most of us do into a week. And it shows. His musical strength is in his urgency, dedication and endurance. Ritche lives out East, and I work from the DownBeat home offices in Chicagoland. So, we operate by phone a lot. And, when we talk, inevitably, I’ll hear Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, or Ritche’s longtime teacher and mentor Billy Bauer in the background. Call it research. Call it conjuring the guitar spirits. Call it respect for those who carved wide paths in the wilderness. Ritche keeps a guitar and music from the guitar masters close to him at all times. Ritche talks about Billy often. When Billy was alive, Ritche would always tell me that the man deserved more space in DownBeat magazine. Truth be told, he went to great lengths to make it happen. We were on a business trip to Long Island one time, and Ritche convinced me to make a quick stop to say hello to Billy. The quick trip turned into a two-and-a-half-hour lesson about life, love, family and music. It turned into an article that should have been a cover story. Getting the wisdom of such an unassuming master was an unforgettable treasure. As usual, Ritche was right. Ritche studied with Billy for most of his adult life. And the lessons Billy taught him are at the core of Ritche’s playing and his being. Two of those lessons are to be original and be true to yourself. So, I wasn’t surprised when Ritche handed me his CD and every song on it was an original, no covers. The music is in the tradition, no doubt. It has the feel of those burning organ trios from the ‘60s. But the tunes are new, written Ritche’s way, in his voice. The results will bring a smile to your face. So, congrats, Ritche. I’ve gotta say don’t quit your day job. It’s not because the music isn’t spectacular. It is. It’s just because I don’t know who else I’d call up every day to get a good laugh and some New York street philosophy. Frank Alkyer, Publisher, DownBeat Magazine Check Out Ritche's Latest Material Mercy, Mercy Sugar Blue Bossa Tenderly Looking for lessons? Ritche teaches guitar all levels Please email Ritche at email@example.com for more information. Billy Bauer- My teacher and mentor All rights reserved Ritche Deraney music ?