Meet Richie Morales
Richie Morales, MFA ’96,
Current Assistant Professor
After the first twenty-five years of my professional career playing drums, recording, working in New York City and touring the world with many different world class artists spanning a variety of musical genres (Jazz, Fusion, Latin Jazz, Smooth Jazz, R&B), I started giving thought to continuing my education and broadening my skill set in areas other than performance. Purchase College came to my attention through several colleagues who either were studying or teaching there, especially Doug Munro, Founding Director of Jazz Studies, and Jay Azzolina, Jazz guitarist and educator.
The Jazz Studies and Music Technology programs were in their infancy and the enrollment was small. With great trepidation I enrolled at Purchase, not having been in a classroom for many years, and surrounded by students half my age. To my great pleasure I found myself involved in a warm, artistic, nurturing yet rigorous academic environment, which still exists at the Purchase Conservatory of Music now, having become a world class program. I developed my musical and academic skills, and in time began teaching as a graduate assistant, something which ended up turning into a career in academia which continues to this day, coinciding with my performance career.
Artists I am currently working with in the field include Grammy-nominated Jazz Fusion guitarist Mike Stern, renowned Fusion and World Music Guitarist Al Di Meola, and iconic Smooth Jazz vocalist Michael Franks. I also lead a jazz quartet in the New York area playing jazz standards and original music.
Over the years I have taken great pride in seeing the achievements of Purchase graduates in their various fields of endeavor, of whom more than a few were personal students of mine.