John Ricci

John Ricci

 Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Moody, sensitive and soulful, John's music balances hard driving swing and traditional elements with a modern approach to harmony. With a wide variety of influences, he exhibits a prolific tonal palate that accompanies his musical background from his Argentine roots to his extensive jazz immersion.


"When you play, your music must groove enough to make your soul dance. When you play, your music must groove enough to make everyone's soul dance with yours." Paraphrased from the great pianist and mentor Donald Brown who John Ricci quoted on his debut jazz quartet CD release: Holding Time.

Combining the culture of his Argentine roots and background in a musical family with a deep study of saxophone influences such as John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis and Mark Turner, John Ricci draws together soulful, hard swinging and harmonically modern and rhythmically diverse elements to his compositions and arrangements.

Having studied to dedicate himself as a top performer and educator, John's mentoring has been quite balanced with the likes of renown tenor saxophonist and jazz leader Jerry Coker and world class pianist, composer and former Blakey Messenger Donald Brown.

John has been performing regularly as a side man and a leader on various projects for more than 15 years, made it ideal for him to finally break out with his own new project that demonstrates his creativity, passion and seasoned refinement in with his own original works and arrangements. Surrounding himself with some of the very finest, experienced and most musically communicative side men in the southeast, it's no doubt why John's new quartet project Holding Time can excite the most dedicated and progressive jazz listeners as well as the uninitiated:

"Holding Time showcases Ricci's impressive mastery of his horn and his well-schooled compositional ability….will have even the most undemonstrative listener head bopping and toe tapping. Holding Time is an impressive debut from a young saxophonist/composer whom I hope we hear much more from in the future.”
--Brad Walseth,

While attending Florida State University School of Music earning a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies under a teaching assistantship, he's performed with Marcus Printup, performed at Preservation Hall in New Orleans and has received many awards including the 1995 Combo Division of Down Beat Collegiate Music Competition. And just recently, in January 2009, Mode Time (the first track on his CD Holding Time) placed him as the winner in the jazz song category of the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards by an esteemed judges panel that included the likes of John Patutucci and Paquito DiRivera.

John has performed with internationally known recording artists and in numerous clubs and festivals including Chijazz Festival in Singapore, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the North East Florida Jazz Association, Savannah Jazz Festival as well as with his long time mentor pianist/composer Donald Brown and trumpeter Stephane Belmondo in a feature performance for the inaugural (and now very noteworthy) annual Knoxville Jazz Festival.

John has taught at the University of North Florida, and is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL. He performs regularly for festivals and club bookings with his quartet.

Recent News:

8th Annual Program – Jazz Song IMA Winner & Vox Populi Winner with Mode Time.


John Ricci, Holding Time - 2007

Rebecca Zapen - Hummingbird - 2003

Sideman and arranger:
Angel Roman and Mambo Blue - Con Fuego - 2003

Set List

1. Mode Time
2. Slow Tango
3. Here's That Rainy Day
4. Ballerina
5. Holding Time
6. Bounce Blues

Approximately 50 minutes

**This varies from performance to performance depending on the listening crowd and environment, type of engagement, as well as the time allowed to perform.