Rick Dior is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with renowned timpanist Fred Hinger and jazz composer Bob Mintzer. He also studied extensively with famed jazz drummer Joe Morello. Rick has performed as a percussionist with some of the biggest names in the music industry including James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bobby McFerrin, and Marvin Hamlish. He has added his drum set talents to performances with many great jazz artists including Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Clark Terry, Red Rodney, Chris Potter and Lionel Hampton. Some of these performances have taken place with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, which he has performed with since 1990. Rick’s recording credits are extensive and include movie soundtracks, CD releases and commercial radio and television spots. As a first call percussionist in Charlotte Rick has performed in dozens of Broadway show tours including Wicked, The Producers, Spamalot, Hairspray, South Pacific, West Side Story and Mary Poppins.
As an engineer and producer Rick has been involved in hundreds of projects, many of which are currently available on CD and video. He has worked with several outstanding artists including Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Cyrus Chesnut, Michael Spiro and Ed Thigpen. You can see a partial list of his award winning recordings on line at Artist Direct.com. Rick has also been involved in several high profile live recordings including projects for NPR, ESPN, The Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina.
In addition to teaching full time at UNC Charlotte Rick also maintains an active private teaching studio. His students have gone on to attend UNC Charlotte as well as many other prestigious music institutions such as The Julliard School of Music, The Manhattan School of Music, The Eastman School of Music, North Texas State University, Oberlin and The University of Miami. Many of these students are active as professional musicians. As a composer Rick has written many compositions and arrangements for Jazz and Latin groups as well as for the Charlotte Symphony the UNC Charlotte percussion ensemble and the Charlotte symphony percussion ensemble. He is the author of several percussion books and DVD’s the including the acclaimed Advanced Coordination for Drum Set and Hand Percussion.