Born in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, Rich Perry became interested in jazz in high school, and studied briefly at Bowling Green State University, before moving to New York. In 1977 he joined the Thad Jones /Mel Lewis Orchestra—which at that time included Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, Rufus Reid, and Harold Danko—and spent the next two years touring the U.S. and Europe. After Thad Jones left the band, Perry continued playing with Mel Lewis, recording three LP’s with him, including Live in Montreux, and Naturally. The band, with Perry as a key member, is now known as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and continues to tour and record. Three of their recent cds have been nominated for Grammy awards. A highlight of Perry’s career has been his association with the gifted composer and arranger Maria Schneider. As a charter member of her orchestra, Perry has been featured on all of her cds including, Allegresse, Coming About, Evanesence , and the Grammy award winning Concert In The Garden. Sky Blue, features Rich’s Piece, a beautiful composition written for him. He has performed with her in Europe, Asia, and throughout the U.S. Rich Perry is also a member of the George Mraz Quartet, the Matt Panayides Group, the Dave Scott Quintet, and the John Fedchock New York Big Band. He has also played in several groups led by the pianist Fred Hersch.