Keyboardist, composer, Mike Ricchiuti is an emerging artist with a refreshing contemporary approach to his playing and writing. Mike’s playing, while grounded in the jazz piano tradition, draws upon a wide variety of influences from pop to soul and funk, giving him a unique voice as an artist. His influences include Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mike grew up on Long Island, and began taking piano lessons by the age of 7. As a young boy he studied classical music but Billy Joel was his musical hero. In his late teens Mike discovered jazz piano and decided to enroll at Berklee College of Music. In the fall of 1986, Mike left for Boston and discovered a whole new world of music. There he studied with Jeff Covell, Ray Santisi, and Herb Pomeroy, among others. In 1991 he returned to NY to embark on his career, while continuing to study with Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.
Most recently Mike has been touring with grammy award winning singer Patti Austin as her pianist/keyboardist and musical director, supporting her latest CD, “Avant Gershwin”. This has provided Mike with the opportunity to work with various symphonies around the world, legendary big bands like Count Basie and Duke Ellington, as well as leading his own trio. He is currently in the studio with Patti, arranging and producing tracks for her new pop/r+b record. In addition, Mike has recently performed with Sting on NBC’s “The Today Show” and CBS’s “The Early Show”, playing piano as part of a 45 piece orchestra promoting Sting’s current tour. Finally, Mike has been also playing concerts to celebrate Quincy Jones’s 75th birthday. It is a very unique band comprised of some of the industry’s most famous session players, including Greg Phillinganes and John Robinson. Other recent recording credits include Chuck Loeb’s “When I’m With You”, “A New Kind of Blue” featuring Randy Brecker, and tracks with Bob James, Eric Marienthal, Gato Barbieri, Michael Franks, Spyro Gyra, and the soundtrack to “State and Main”.
Mike’s talents have also been sought out by a variety of other artists. He toured in the US and Europe with legendary funk saxophonist Maceo Parker, playing organ. Mike was also hired to play in the house band for the “I Love NY” benefit concert held at the Beacon Theater in NYC for victims of the World Trade Center tragedy. On this special night, he backed up artists such as Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Phoebe Snow, Jeff Golub, Russ Freeman, and many others. In addition, Mike has worked with Michael Brecker, Chris Botti, Peabo Bryson, Bill Evans, Will Lee, Steve Gadd, John Patitucci, Omar Hakim, James Ingram, David Foster, and Gloria Estefan. Finally, Mike performs with his own band in support of his solo CD, “The Way I See It”.