Rich Downs, a Musical Biography

by Rich Downs


Webpage by Cliff Lamere    Mar 12, 2007



Photo by Cliff Lamere

At the Fountain Restaurant, 283 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY



Richard Joseph "Rich" Downs, Jr. is currently from 

West Springfield, Massachusetts.  

I have seen and heard Rich play the acoustic bass, sousaphone, and cornet.



[In his own words]


Richard Downs - bass, trumpet
Bassist Richard Downs grew up in Islip, Long Island (also the birthplace of the demolition derby. This is, perhaps, not merely coincidental). He is a self-taught musician, a process that began in junior high school by means of picking up whatever instruments were handy and torturing them. He currently tortures the acoustic and electric bass, guitar, trumpet, and tuba. 


In his 20+ years as a working musician (this phrase, contrary to popular belief is not an oxymoron) he has had occasion to work with such notables as Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Giuffre, Atilla Zoller, Slide Hampton, Barry Altschul, Ray Copeland, and Al Cohn. 


Mr. Downs has toured in Great Britain, France, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Australia, as well as the U.S.A. He has appeared on seven albums, including 'bout time, his new release with jazz stylist/spirit singer Vikki True, on which he wore numerous hats including: musical director, bassist, percussionist, trumpeter and "heavy breather" as well as ghost writer. He also maintains a full schedule of private instruction on the above-mentioned instruments (no torture involved).



Rich Downs can be seen in other photos taken by Cliff Lamere:

    Rich Downs

    Rich Downs 2

    Rich Downs 3

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 2

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 3

    Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band 4

    Mardi Gras 1

    Mardi Gras 2

    Skip Parsons 2

    With Woody Strobeck

    With Rich Skrika

    With Ron Joseph

    With Sam Ponder

    With Forrest Gabriels 2