Rick Margitza, saxophone (USA)
Mikael Jakobsson, piano
Daniel Franck, bass (SWE)
Aleksi Heinola, drums
Born into a musical family on October 24, 1961 in Detroit Michigan, Rick Margitza started playing music at an early age. His paternal grandfather was a Hungarian Gypsy violinist who started Margitza’s musical education by teaching him to play the violin at the age of four. Margitza’s father, a violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra continued his musical education by enrolling him in the piano studio of Mischa Kotler.
Shortly after, Margitza heard a recording by Charlie Parker. His maternal grandfather, a jazz bassist with the Glen Miller band, also played cello on the famed Charlie Parker with strings recording. After hearing Parker on this recording, Margitza switched to the saxophone.
Since then he has studied classical saxophone with Donald Sinta at the university of Michigan, and jazz with Sonny Stitt, Gerry Niewood, Michael Brecker, and David Liebman. He studied at Wayne State University in Detroit, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, the University of Miami, and graduated with a bachelors of music from the Loyola University in New Orleans.
After living in New Orleans, Margitza moved to New York in 1989. He has performed and/or recorded with McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Williams, Eddie Gomez, Chick Corea, Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas and Miles Davis. He has led his own band and performed in clubs, concert halls and festivals around the world. His 10 albums as a leader document the evolution of his playing as well as his growth as a composer.
Margitza has also composed music for orchestra including two symphonies and a saxophone concerto.
He currently lives in Paris and his most recent recording Bohemia, on the French label Nocturne, is his most personal to date. Recorded after moving to Paris in 2003, this project is completely different in style and content from any of his other recordings. The instrumentation ranges from violins, tablas and sitars, to harmonicas, voices and ethnic guitars. Margitza explores his Gypsy roots by tracing the origin of the Romany people from India across Eastern Europe. The music is programmatic in nature with each instrument and theme being a character in the story.
Since moving to Paris, he has been the a professor of arranging and harmony at the former American School of Modern Music in Paris, which is now called IMEP Paris College of Music. He has also given master classes throughout Europe including the Paris Conservatoire at Le Cite De LA Musique, The Royal Conservatory at the Haag in Holland, The Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam and The Helsinki Academy of Finland. Since 2012 he has been part of the band Miles Smiles which is made up of Miles Davis alumni, including members, Joey Defrancesco, Darryl Jones, Robin Ford, Larry Coryell, Omar Hakim and Wallace Roney.