Rick Zelinsky

Rick Zelinsky's Biography

Rick Zelinsky is a saxophonist and clarinetist, and teaches band in the Anchorage School District as well as saxophone at the University of Alaska. Rick earned his B.A. in Music Performance from Cleveland State University and his Master of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Akron. He received full saxophone scholarships for both degrees. Though Rick was accepted into the Doctorate program for saxophone at the University of Indiana by Eugene Rousseau, he decided to take a break from school and has been in Alaska for the last sixteen years performing and teaching.

In the spring of 2012, Rick released his second and third CDs, Icy Grooves and Be Like the Sun, which followed Rick Zelinsky Live! in 2010. He plays regularly at Anchorage’s SubZero, Sullivan’s, and the Tap Root venues, as well as many others. He is founder and director of the state’s popular summer band program, Alaska Band, which celebrated its 12th anniversary in 2012. Rick regularly plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass and alto clarinet, and midi wind controller. He enjoys playing both jazz and classical music.

Since fall 2009, Rick has led his own series of concerts called "Tribute to the Jazz Masters," named by the Anchorage Daily News as “best of entertainment” in Anchorage. The concerts feature the music of past and present jazz giants such as Cannonball & Nat Adderley, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker, Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. Since the fall of 2010, the concerts have been performed at Anchorage’s Tap Root venue.

Some of Rick’s highlights include performing with jazz greats Eddie Palmieri (piano) and Brian Lynch (trumpet); Broadway shows such as Chicago; guest saxophonist with the internationally known Blues Brothers; guest soloist performing saxophone concertos with the University of Alaska Wind Ensemble; guest saxophone soloist with Alaska Chamber Singers; saxophone soloist with country star T. Graham Brown; and featured soloist on two CD releases for Alaskan pianist Dan McElrath and two CDs for trumpet artist Yngvil Vatn Guttu. Rick also teaches Monday evening Buddhist meditation classes open to all who are striving for inner peace and to help all living beings.

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Rick Zelinsky