Richie Morales is a versatile player whose credits range from the seminal jazz-fusion of the Brecker Brothers, the contemporary jazz of Spyro Gyra and Grover Washington Jr., the Latin jazz of Gato Barbieri, Ray Barretto and Grammy Award winning Latin Jazz flutist Dave Valentin, to the experimental and innovative jazz of Dave Brubeck, George Russell, and Herbie Mann.
For many years, Richie was best known as the percussive force behind the perennial chart topping group Spyro Gyra, composing as well as drumming for the group. Richie also leads his own group, performing a mixture of jazz standards and original compositions reflecting his diverse musical background.
Richie has performed and recorded with such contemporary artists as Grover Washington Jr., Stevie Wonder, Carly Simon, Dianne Reeves, guitarist Mike Stern, Grammy nominated trombonist Conrad Herwig’s “Latin Side All Stars”, Dave Valentin, bassist Victor Bailey, George Russell’s Living Time Orchestra, as well as the Al DiMeola Electric Project, saxophonist Bill Evans, and Grammy Award winning vibraphonist Dave Samuels. Richie’s performance on saxophonist Gato Barbieri’s release “Shadow of the Cat” helped garner a “Best Latin Jazz Album of The Year” award from Billboard magazine’s 2003 Latin Music Awards, and a Latin Grammy nomination in the same category as well. Other artists Richie has performed with include, guitarist and former NY Yankee Great Bernie Williams, Kim Waters, Walter Beasley and Paul Jackson Jr.
Richie toured in Europe with the George Russell Living Time Orchestra, the results of which can be heard on Mr. Russell’s live release “The 80th Birthday Concert”. He performs concert dates in Europe and the U.S. as a member of the Mike Stern Group.
Richie has been a member of the jazz faculty at Purchase College Conservatory of Music SUNY since 2000. He has also taught at the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and is a clinician for Yamaha drums and Zildjian cymbals. Richie also endorses Vic Firth sticks and Aquarian drumheads.