Rick was born and raised in Rochester, NY. He started playing drums at 11 y.o.
A couple of years later while playing in local bands, he met Vinnie Ruggiero - the best drummer in Rochester who later brought him to his house where he met Steve Gadd, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. He learned how to play drums by hanging out with these guys, listening and watching them play. They were his first teachers and later they became great friends.
One of his first major gigs was with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jack McDuff and Richard "Groove" Holmes. Later he attended Eastman school of Music, NY and Syracuse University, NY, eventually obtaining a master's degree in music.
After college, Rick moved to NYC where he started playing and recording with Chuck Mangione, Art Farmer, Harvey Swartz, Whitney Houston, Paul Butterfield, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Gomez, Michael Brecker, Jaco Pastorius to name a few...
While living in NYC he started teaching at Drummer's Collective. His unique style of teaching "real world" applications and techniques that he used while playing with people, made him stand out from other teachers who used books. At the same time, he got an endorsement with Zildjian and Vic Firth.
While doing clinics for Zildjian, Rick played a master class at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The chair of the Percussion Department asked Rick to "sub" for one semester for a one faculty member...At the end of the semester, Rick had so many requests from students that Berklee offered him a permanent teaching position. Rick taught there for 20 years maintaining a full schedule.
At the same time he was playing and recording with Boston's best musicians Diana Krall, Al Kooper, The Either Orchestra, Tierney Sutton, Duke Robbilard and Ronnie Earl to name a few.
While teaching at some of the best music colleges, Rick wrote a few books, one of them the highly acclaimed Rudiment Grooves for Drumset, published by Berklee Media and Distributed by Hal Leonard. In 2010 Rick moved back to NYC. He continues to play, tour, recording and teach privately.
Rick has played and recorded with:
Diana Krall, Cissy and Whitney Houston, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, James Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Jewell, Patty Smith, Robben Ford, Muddy Waters, Chuck Mangione, Barry Kiener, Jaco Pastorius, Michelle Camillo, Harvey Swartz, Eddie Gomez, Jeff Mironov, Chambers Bros., Paul Butterfield, Phoebe Snow, Eddie Reyes, Jon Werking, Joe Locke, Joe Romano, Sal Nistico, Gap Mangione, Don Potter, Jack McDuff, Maggie Galloway, Tierney Sutton, David Sanborn, Al Kooper, Michael Brecker, and many others.