Vocalist, Guitarist, Pianist, Bassist, Drummer & Educator

Contact Ric at 815.784.4632 or

ric bianchi-30

A consummate musician–literate in all styles—guitarist/pianist/bassist/percussionist/vocalist Ric Bianchi has lived and worked in the Chicagoland area for 20 years. Beyond his versatility—he made a living one year strictly playing bass—Ric has logged upwards of 2500 gigs: concertizing the classical repertoire; cranking it out in bands ranging from rock, bluegrass and country to latin, Motown and big-band; grooving in small jazz combos and with blues lineups; and deftly soloing on his main instruments. He’s also worked as a studio musician and as a church music director.

Among the important artists Ric has performed with are trombonist J.J. Johnson, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, saxophonist Ernie Watts, drummer Harold Jones and blues guitarist John Primer. Ric has performed and been associated with noted sidemen, including drummer Rick Latham (B.B. King, Quincy Jones, Johnny Winter), guitarist Don Carr (Marie Osmond, Tommy Tutone, Oak Ridge Boys), pianist Ariyo (Billy Branch, Robert Lockwood Jr., Otis Rush), Guitarist Chuck Crane ( Albert King, Freddie King, Eddie Clearwater) and others.

Gigging/recording is but one aspect of the Bianchi musical story. Ric is also a passionate and inspirational teacher of guitar, piano, bass and percussion, as well as an incredible source of knowledge of the contributions of African Americans in the development of American Music

His teaching experience has included a seven-year stint at Kishwaukee College (2001–2008), where he also chaired the Music Department (2004-2008). There his duties as instructor covered American Music, Fundamentals of Music Theory, Classical and Romantic Music, Class Guitar, Class Piano, Applied Guitar, Applied Piano and Applied Percussion. He was awarded the Teacher Excellence Award form Kishwaukee College, 2002-2003. He has also taught at Waubonsee College (2003-2008), Highland College (2003-2004) and Chicago’s Columbia College (2000-2004).

Ric’s earliest formal college training happened at the University of North Texas. He eventually received his B.A. in Music at University of Northern Iowa in 1993. In 1999, he completed his Master’s in Music at Northern Illinois University. Ric was a member of the Pi Lambda Kappa National Honor Vocal Organization (1999).

In college, Ric studied with Jack Petersen, one of the first instructors of guitar at the revered Berklee College of Music, and he also studied piano with Willie Pickens, a jazz great from Chicago’s music scene, and with the noted jazz educator, Dan Haerle.

…in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where Bianchi was born to Irish/Italian parents, the youngest of six children.  Ric first expressed a desire to play saxophone, but a grammar school music teacher said he had no talent. Piano was also an early interest, but a cheap Sears, Roebuck guitar, discarded by an older sister, became Bianchi’s early entry into music.

Exposed by his siblings to all kind of pop, — The Temptations, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder—Ric also was influenced by his mother’s love for the Nat King Cole Trio as well as big band music.

Largely self-taught at the beginning, Ric won a local talent contest at the age of 14.  His musical sensibilities then got a huge jolt at the age of 17, when he attended The Bix Beiderbecke Festival, which celebrates the legacy of the legendary trumpeter (and Ric’s fellow Iowan!). Thus was born Ric’s lifelong fascination with jazz.  Not long after, at 18, he attended Finland’s week-long Pori Jazz Festival where — after experiencing live The Count Basie Big Band, The Herbie Hancock Trio, and Jaco Pastorius’ Funk Revue — he knew there was much more to the art form than simply banging barre chords on his guitar.

Ric performs regularly around Chicago and teaches private lessons in his studio. He lives in Genoa, Illinois, where Laura, his wife of 21 years, and their two children, Giovanni and Natasha reside.

Look for more information coming soon!!!

3 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Hi Rick, Sounds like you know your stuff. I’ll try to give you call this morning, Some of My stuff would be under my sons album, Matt Skirmont “Things I Got to do”, Check out Georgia, Bye, Bye Blackbird or After You’ve Gone. on iTunes, My son does the lead vocal, I’m singing harmony. Maybe we can jam sometime. Thanks, Dave Skirmont 847-366-0774

  2. Hi Ric. Here is Hans, the smart ass from Austria. Congrats to your new president. Hope you are fine. I’m still taking guitar classes and I really love thinking of our good old times at UNI. GREETINGS

    • Hans!!!
      Wie gehts?
      Been playing a lot of drums and congas myself in last year.
      Sorry I missed this post…covid tough on the whole world.
      I was just talking about my hot pink bass I had at UNI
      best & peace vibes to you and yours

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