Live Music - June 20 - 6:30 pm
Ritchie’s performances are a testament to a life lived through music. “I got the bug at age four, playing a solo-lead part in a recorder band concert in Queens, NY. I felt it right then and there, and that drive has never waned, never left.” His instruments include violin, mandolin, ukulele and guitar, where his arranging and playing talents led to a long and colorful career in his native New York City, performing and recording with multiple artists, movie scores and on commercial jingles.
After moving to Arizona, Ritchie put performance on the back burner to concentrate on his business career and other “real-life” activities, “but it was inevitable,” Ritchie says, “Music is who I am, I could only hold out for so long.” Ritchie collected a group of songs that shaped and sustained him as an artist. He continues, “I have taken those songs, reworked and deconstructed them, and made them my own. I want to share them and their importance to me with others who have also been moved by the power of music.”
Ritchie’s life has been a non-stop voyage of passion, creativity and discovery. As a musician since the age of four, music has been the impetus behind a career that has spanned the worlds of music, film and business.
Ritchie has recorded and toured with a diverse range of artists that includes founding members of the Velvet Underground, John Cale and Lou Reed; Rapper Gerado (Rico Suave), CBCB/punk stalwarts Tom Verlaine (Television), Jimmy Destri (Blondie); Genya Raven (Ten Wheel Drive) and John Waite – with whom he performed on three gold and platinum records.
Whether playing with these artists, recording parts for a toothpaste commercial, or acting as music editor for a varied list of artists such as Billy Joel, Kool & the Gang, Aretha Franklyn, and Hall & Oates, Ritchie brings his unmistakable, energetic and immediate style.
Besides performing, Ritchie has also served in various management and consulting positions for musical instrument companies such as the Gibson, PRS, ESP and Fender guitar companies, and amplification manufacturers such as Fishman, and Marshall.
Ritchie has also authored the best-selling books, Amps! The Other Half of Rock ‘N’ Roll and The Complete Guide to Guitar and Amp Maintenance: A Practical Manual for Every Guitar Player both of which are considered expert reference works. He has also written for Guitar Player and Guitar World magazines, in which his “In Gear” column was featured for a number of years. Ritchie also plays a prominent role in the Smithsonian Institute video History of the Electric Guitar - A Sound Revolution.
Music has permeated every facet of Ritchie’s life and recently he has created a one-man performance which traces the musical influences throughout his life, relating a story of discovery and meaning that everyone can relate to in one way or another.