Richard Simon, Jazz Director

Richard Simon discovered jazz and the bass while teaching English in the LA Community College District.   For the bite of the jazz bug, there was no cure:   he quickly enrolled in music theory courses, apprenticed to bass master ‘Red’ Callender, and practiced eight hours a day, eventually trading the brightly-lit routine of the classroom for the dimly-lit world of jazz clubs.  He was quickly adopted by the “elder elite” of the West Coast jazz scene.  Now he works regularly around Los Angeles and performs occasionally at jazz festivals throughout the United States.  His first “road trip” as a musician took him to Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain; subsequently, he has toured Japan three times, performed with the King of Thailand twice, and toured Hungary, Romania and Moldavia.   Richard’s independent record label, UFO-Bass Records, recently issued its fifth release.  He returned to jazz education with the advent of the late Buddy Collette’s JazzAmerica program, a tuition-free non-profit for which he now serves as program director.  He has served as Jazz program director with VYMA since the summer of 2009.

Pasadena Community Foundation