Ricardo, also known as Richie, was born and raised in the streets of Philadelphia based out of the school of hard knocks. Richie was born into music from his mother’s womb and through his childhood by the influence of his father, Angelo Diaz. Angelo, also known as El Mexicano, who acquired his nickname by attending Mexican schools and picking up the accent in Oakland, CA until he was 14 years old. Although born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Angelo eventually moved to Oakland, CA and then landing in New York City and Philadelphia, PA.
Angelo became jazz vocalist for the Mark Davis Orchestra during the 1960s. Angelo had the opportunity to collaborate with many artists such as Frankie Avalon (then a trumpet player), Lázaro Prieto (bass player from Cuba), Ward Taylor (jazz vibe player), Bobby Crotter and many other artists as a percussionist.
During Richie’s childhood, his father would take him to rehearsals to listen to the masters. This is where he absorbed the standards of music knowledge. At the age of 12, his father introduced him to the guitar where he began to learn the music standards. Richie's father started to teach him on compositions such as Misty, Strangers in the Night, Fiddler on the Roof along with different genres such as Blues, Jazz and Spanish Flamenco styles.
Richie also expanded his skills and studying to play the piano, bass, percussions and vocals. By the age of 14, he had started performing at neighborhood block and house parties, festivals and local events.
Did you know that Richie was also in the Red Light, Green Light educational movie? That’s right! During his attendance at Masterman elementary school, he was selected to participant in the movie as an extra and participated in school plays.
Richie started to become more recognized and performed opening acts for many latin salsa artists and groups at the Philadelphia Athletic Club. Artist included Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez and groups like El Gran Combo and Sonora Ponceña from Puerto Rico
Richie finally formed his own band called Orquesta Herencia as a bandleader, arranger and composer.
The first African Fest at the Vernon Park along with other Sydney Miller and his orchestra Siembra. Philly Joe Jones (legendary drummer of Miles Davis) attended the event to specifically watch the orchestra perform and he loved their style. Richie had the honor to meet and speak with Philly Joe after the show.
The orchestra continued with major openings for Tito Puente at the Philadelphia Community College with Kip Morris (Richie’s high school teacher back then) who played Saxophone.
Richie and his orchestra performed at the International Theater in the early 90s opening act for the original Los Muñequitos de Matanzas from Cuba.
Orquesta Herencia was a popular band and often performed at the Spanish America Club. The pioneer musicians were John DiMartino on Piano, Angel Davila with his Bass, Carlos "Chispito" Santiago on Timbales, Tony Bongo, Mickie Sharon on Congas, Stan Slaughter played Trumpet plus Flute, and Bobby Zancouf on Baritone Saxophone.
The orchestra appeared on the Myriad Show for Philadelphia’s Channel 6 as well.
TRUE SPIRIT ORCHESTRA
Richie formed the True Spirit Orchestra back in the 1980s coming up with original compositions which had a fusion mix of Funk, R&B, Latin and Jazz.
Phyllis Hyman at the Uptown theater (later called NewTech) for Michael Jackson’s press party for the Off The Wall album. The orchestra was performing for known artists such as Billy Paul, Major Harris and others.
Richie had the honor and privilege to work with Cecil Deval, pianist for Grammy Award Winning Teddy Pendergrass on the True Spirit recording project to form a new sound. The project was took place at the Society Hill Studio with David Strouman as Sound Engineer and the assistance of Derek the Sound Engineer from Sigma Sound Studio.
He continued to perform and collaborate with recording artists such as Daryl Burgee, world renowned Master Drummer who has toured with Tina Marie and Rick James. Also, Mr. Burgee has recorded with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and now performs with the Urban Guerrilla Orchestra.
He has performed with Jamaaladeen Tacuma, world renowned fusion bass player for Ornette Coleman (Sax), also Max Roach, Carlos Santana and the Tonight Show. Richie has also performed with Cecil Dival on various gigs and John DiMartino who has performed with Ray Barretto and vocalist Jenny Segals from Manhattan Transfer.
The orchestra would perform at the Starlight Ballroom in NJ as well.
Richie has performed at the Shriners Hospital for Children for more 4 years on his spare time with his group offering music entertainment for specialized children.
Richie moved to Puerto Rico to circle back to his latin roots. There, he realized the enchantment and the beauty of the island enduring the richness of the culture and history. He continued his journey in Puerto Rico to enhance his music knowledge focusing on learning the native music such as Bomba, Plena, Afro-cuban rhythms, Aguinaldos, Sechoriao, Decimas, Latin Jazz, and other island styles.
ORQUESTA TOQUE LATINO
When he formed his own band Orquesta Toque Latino (Latin Touch) they were the first band to bring Latin Jazz music to La Fiestas Patronales (the patronal feast or patronal festival) in Rio Grande. Through the years the band performed at conventions, weddings, hotels and became the exclusive band for El Conquistador Hotel. The orchestra gained exposure throughout the island and United States, and getting air play on WPFW radio in Washington, D.C.The orchestra also has affiliation with Sound Designer Studio in San Juan area with Sound Engineer Wilson Gonzalez where artists go for sound recordings.
The orchestra had the opportunity to collaborate with artist Tito Allen at the Plaza Del Alma in San Juan. Also with actress Sully Diaz at a convention and with composer Puchi Balseiro at the Rancho in Rio Grande. During the summer, he performed at Pan y Agua restaurant in front of La Plaza Del Alma for tourist.Richie continued participating in jam session and recording studios with local artists and musicians throughout the island. Performing opening acts for Gilberto Santa Rosa and Ruth Hernandez. He has been invited to record commercial jingles for political campaigns for the former Senator Yasmin Mejia Lugo.
Today, Richie is currently wrapping up his production for "Richie’s Tambor" single release. Participating in the project is Dr. Luis Quiñonez (trombonist and arranger) who has performed with artists like Sammy "El Rolo" Gonzalez , Philaharmonic Orchestra, La Zodiac Orchestra, Truco y Zaperoko and many other popular artists.
Orquesta Herencia - The Myriad Show on Channel 6 ABC.
PHILADELPHIA , PA
Richie attended Thomas A. Edison High School and studied music theory under his teacher Kip Morris in 1969. He found himself in an interesting place and time in his life. He had the opportunity to perform with the only Edison High School Salsa orchestra with his guitar. The orchestra would play throughout all school districts with their fusion of different sounds such as R&B and Jazz with Salsa music.
Performance locations include Mechanical Hall, Kensington High School for Girls and many other Philadelphia school districts.
Richie continued his studies at the Gran Olde School of Music with Dennis Sandoli, an American jazz guitarist, composer and music educator. Mr. Sandoli was John Coltrane's mentor from 1946 until the early 1950s. Richie was mentored for piano improvisation for about 3 years. An audition was required as part of the selection process only available to advanced students in order to be considered. There were other known artists that went through similar processes like Rufus Harley an American jazz musician and Pat Martino the internationally beloved jazz guitarist.
He attended Combs College of Music for about two years to study classical piano techniques under the teachings of Mr. Burger and Settlement Music School for more than one year.
Richie has attended at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico (Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico) to continue his classical piano techniques for more than two years.
Richie started teaching music when he was hired by the Musicastro Academy to teach piano, guitar, bass, vocals and music theory at various academy locations. He served more than 140 students for individual lessons. He also continued teaching at Christian academies throughout the island.
Richie has coached singer "Lady" to prepare her for audition on Objetivo Fama, a popular singing talent contest show that aired for over six years on WLII, a Univision outlet in Puerto Rico. Lady won the entry to compete and reached 2nd place.
Singer-Songwriter - Composer - Arranger - Producer
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