Rich in his 7th decade of professional music, has committed to full-time involvement in an 'early-childhood
(K-8) jazz-education program which he has devised and developed and which is ready for implementation in schools
in the United States and internationally!
He has accepted the responsibility of sharing our great American native-bred art-form, jazz, with millions of children around the globe through a unique, engaging, enlightening and esteem-building program, specifically designed with the young student in mind, although suitable for students of any age or grade level..
Rich is seeking other educationally-minded people to join forces with him, as the TASK of educating a generation of students, and eventually raising the standard of popular music in general, and jazz specifically, IS a BIG one!
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!
Saturday, November 29th, and every Saturday, we will be broadcasting, once again, LIVE
from Las Vegas and simultaneously from "The Crooked Billet, in
Essex, The UK...
"Pulin 4 Jazz", a jazz radio show in support
of early childhood jazz education.......NOT offered in the curriculum
of 99% of elementary schools across the US as well as around the
The place on your dial is: jazzjuiceradio.net
The time is 12 noon Pacific USA.....
We are seeking to promote several
'straight-ahead' jazz artists on the show, and
also interested in sponsorship and
donations to enable us to mentor elementary
school children in the history of jazz, its origin
Rich Pulin began playing the Baritone Horn, switching to the Trombone after seeing "The Glen Miller Story" starring Jimmy Stewart, as Glenn Miller,....At the age of 18, through a series of events, he met legendary
Trumpeter Dalton Smith. Dalton, in turn, referred Rich to Woody Herman pianist-arranger, Nat Pierce.
Nat wasted no time and escorted Rich to Nola Rehearsal studio, to sit in with Charlie Barnett's band,
coincidentally minus a trombone that day! Barnett's band included bass-trombonist-composer-arranger
John Woehrmann and the inimitable Trumpeter-Flugelhornist Clark Terry!
Woehrmann was so impressed with Rich's playing, he recommended him for an audition,which
led to a job with the Tommy Dorsey Band under the direction of Warren Covington!
Subsequently,he played the 1st trombone and jazz soloist chairs with the bands of: Johnny Long, Richard Maltby, Buddy Morrow, Les & Larry Elgart, Tony Pastor, The Jimmy Dorsey band under Lee Castle,The Al Grey/Billy Mitchell(Tenor Sax)Sextet, Slam Stewart's Band, The Dave Pike Set, Woody Herman's 'Herd' and friend and mentor Clark Terry's first big band at the Half Note!
Rich was a charter member of CT's Big Bad Band, which was a co-venture that Clark led with assistance from alto-saxophonist Phil Woods, and trombonist/arranger Melba Liston. Clark's band was a collection of all-stars including guys like Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Gene Quill, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Owens, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, and Nat Pierce...
Following the gig with CT, Rich wound up in the Netherlands, and wasn't seen or heard from again for seven years. He married one of only 3 female recording producers, with The Philips-Phonogram Company. Their first co-production was a son, Yasha....
Rich became a part of the recording scene in Holland and all over Europe participating in hundreds of sessions as a Trombonist, composer/arranger,conductor, vocalist and producer...
Rich was a featured
member of the legendary Dutch cabaret artist Toon Herman's American One Man Show, soloist in the ex-patriot band led by trumpeter/arranger Dusko Goykevich, which was based in Koln & Munich Germany and toured several times through the communist eastern bloc! Rich appeared on Dutch TV with the legendary Richard Harris, Joe Cocker and conducted an orchestra for Lulu, when "To Sir With Love" was a hit!
Rich was invited by vibraphonist, Dave Pike, to record on his first Dave Pike Set
in Hilversum Holland! (Coincidentally, he played on Dave's last cd, 'Peligrosso', recorded in LA!
Rich arranged and conducted for young Dutch star Anneke Konings first recordings and arranged for and conducted the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra at the Sopot (Poland)song festival.
His song "Boogie Woogie Woman" was certified platinum in Europe!
Since his return to the U.S, (L.A.), he appeared first with Glen Campbell and The Supremes in Hawaii, followed by numerous bands and performers, including
Art Pepper, Don Ellis, Ray Charles, and Tito Puente at the infamous Monterey Jazz Festival(1977) appearance(cd of that performance on Concord Records). Also in that same period, Rich's orchestra accompanied Debby Reynolds, Rosemarie, Bert Convey and Gary 'Radar' Burghof (from 'Mash')....
For the last few years, he's been concentrating his efforts on his career and the careers of his gifted daughter Brooke the recent recipient of a Masters Degree in music, summa cum laude, from Florida State University, life and writing partner Kristin McKnight-Pulin, 10 year old grandson, Jovanny, and 5 year old grandson, Kai....The Pulin's are currently on a songwriting 'roll' scoring lots of new music in multi-genres!
In addition to being blessed with wonderful, encouraging, and supportive parents, Helen and Hy Pulin, Rich was also "adopted" by a musician that he believes was tops on his instrument, tenor saxophone, and an icon in the field of jazz.........the inimitable Billy Mitchell.. "B" took Rich under his wing, and over the next fourty years they became best of friends (he had the honor and pleasure to gig and record with "B" both stateside and abroad). Billy's input, whether it pertained to music or life was plentiful and was always welcomed. Rich considers him his mentor and was honored that "B" thought of him as his protege.(other Billy Mitchell protege's include Charles McPherson, and Bobby Hutcherson). The Mitchell residence on Yale avenue in Rockville Centre, NY, was always a happy gathering place for musicians and other nice folk. Being "licensed" to "drop" the name Billy Mitchell over the years opened a lot of doors for Rich, and he will always be greatly indebted to him and cherish the memory of both Billy and his wonderful wife Marge.
"Giving Jazz Back to the Community, One Child at a Time"
An Interview With Rich Pulin
By Derek @ Learnivore Arts ..
Trombone legend, Rich Pulin, lets us in on his 60 years as a musician and why it's important for our children to be exposed to good music.
I recently had the good fortune to meet with Rich Pulin, who, after decades in the music industry as a writer, producer, composer and instrumentalist, has turned his efforts to a cause that combines the two things closest to his heart: children and jazz. Read on for the interview!
Follow Rich on Learnivore if you're looking for more of his jazz and other musical expertise or even updates on his current projects.
Even better, connect with Rich as an instructor on Learnivore. He has an incredible wealth of musical knowledge and insight to share!
Rich, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Rich: I was born and raised in New York City and Long Island, much of it in the town of Bethpage, NY. In 1960, I was chosen by the great trombone player Warren Covington to work with The Tommy Dorsey Band as bass trombonist. It was the beginning of my professional life as a musician... and I was only 18!
I'm currently living in Las Vegas because of my entertainment connections. One of my favorite studios is in Vegas and it's where my daughter, Brooke, and wife, Kristin, join me to make music together.
So you record music with your family?
Rich: Yes! Although I've always been into jazz, blues, and big band music, I’ve been opening myself up to new styles in the process of writing and recording with my family. My wife and daughter enjoy Americana, pop, country, latin and other styles, as do I. Even my grandson, Jovanny, is in on the act. He’s been singing a wide variety of music in many genres. I do most of the writing and composition, and Kristin assists with lyrics on some songs! Brooke, who's just back from college, and finally has the time, has begun to do some writing of her own as well.
How did you first get into jazz? What were your influences?
Rich: I first started playing the baritone horn when I was 12. Previously, I "flunked" at piano and violin, but, for some reason, the horn worked out. When I was 13, I went with a buddy of mine to see the Glenn Miller Story and was instantly inspired. Suddenly, I didn't want to play baritone anymore: I HAD to play trombone! So my dad got me a trombone, just like that. And then every Friday, he started bringing home big band records. It's crazy, but I was actually listening to my future employer, The Tommy Dorsey Band, from the get-go. I also loved Maynard Ferguson, Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller (obviously). And then through some sort of osmosis of listening to records, I actually started to play along with them.
You can't plan something like what happened to me. I got that trombone and I never looked back.
So what happened after that first gig touring with the Tommy Dorsey Band? How did you get from New York to Vegas?
Rich: I spent about seven years on the road touring with the Tommy Dorsey Band. Then it was on to other acts like Les & Larry Elgart, The Jimmy Dorsey Band, Woody Herman and was Clark Terry’s first lead trombonist.
In 1968, I moved to Europe, married a Dutch record producer and worked on developing my songwriting and producing. I then wrote my biggest hit to date, "Boogie Woogie Woman" recorded by the band Livin' Blues in 1974. To be honest, I got a little greedy after that and decided I had to come back to the United States to try and see if my success in Europe would follow me. I haven’t written another song of that magnitude, yet, but I’m working on it.
Another big moment for me was when my radio show, Pulin for Jazz, first aired in 1978. The show has been recently revived and we're back on from 12 Noon Until 2 PM (PST)(20:00 Europe) every Saturday live from Las Vegas!
So what compelled you to revive the radio show?
Rich: The reason I've revived the show is to support early childhood jazz education. That's the most important thing to me right now. We're accepting donations and sponsorships, which will go toward allowing senior jazz mentors like myself to go into public schools and places like the YMCA to teach kids about the origin of jazz: where it started, who the pioneers were, etc. And we play some of the great, original jazz music, so the new young listeners become familiar with the sound.
I'd love to hear more about your desire to be a jazz educator.
Rich: The truth is I'm focusing on this because few others are. I think there is a basic musical illiteracy amongst our children right now, not only in the US, but the world. I don't agree with our kids being inundated with music that espouses violence, hostility, racism, drug usage, etc. and kids don't have any clue as to what else is actually out there. Good music education has to start early. We visit a lot of schools because it's important to get the word out and I think Learnivore can be another way to reach more people. Children and jazz are both on the endangered species list; I'm just trying to educate as many people as I can. Long live the children... and long live jazz!
So in a society where kids are used to getting music that is often loud and crude and lacking in strong messages, how do you get them interested?
Rich: It's actually really easy. The first time I present to a group, I do "Louis Armstrong 101"... because he's where it started, he's the common denominator, the stamp engraved on everyone that all that followed him. He is very funny, always smiling and his voice is amazing! The kids can't help but love Pops right away! They know nothing of his music and yet when they see Louis, they fall in love with him and they fall in love with jazz. I present him to adults, kids, anyone and everyone. I just turn on Louis Armstrong and I don't have to say another darn word!
What was your greatest moment as a musician?
Rich: I co-wrote a song with legendary jazz trumpeter, Clifford Brown, posthumously, entitled "La Rue." La Rue was his wife, and requested that I write lyrics to Clifford's instrumental version. Once she heard my lyric, she was touched and told me that somehow, uncannily, I had managed to write things only known to she and Clifford!
I'm relating to 60 years as a professional musician, so there are a lot of great moments. I played as the jazz trombone soloist in Tito Puente's band at the Monterrey Jazz Festival in 1977.
I was also chosen by Clark Terry to play in his inaugural big band as the lead trombonist. There were also some fabulous gigs in that 10 year European period, sandwiched between Clark and Tito, too!
Is there anything else you're doing currently that you'd like people to know about?
Rich: I'm actually putting the finishing touches on the new book for kids called Hippo D. Hop. I wrote it for my daughters when they were little, but then recently I got together with an amazing illustrator and we decided to publish it! I can't tell you too much about it yet, but it's geared toward kindergarten through third grade and is intended to inspire kids to persevere, sort of like a modern "Little Engine That Could".
We also just wrote and recorded two new songs that will also be included on a cd with the book. It's really exciting!
What would people who identify you solely as a jazz educator be surprised to learn about you?
Rich: I do love to exercise. I joined a gym and I exercise regularly. My wife, kids and grandkids said they want me around as long as they can.
Honestly, I'm always amazed by the things I'm still able to do with my life. People should think of it as their job to make the world a better place, it should be their priority. In my position, I'm attempting to rescue children and an art form, I spend much of my life working toward that goal. I'm just doing my part.
For a wide selection of Rich's music, check out his Reverbnation page.