Stepton, Rick

views updated

Stepton, Rick

Stepton, Rick, trombonist; b. Fitchburg, Mass., Feb. 28, 1942. A third-generation trombonist, he played in local town bands as a youth and the 118th army band in France in the early 1960s. He worked in the “Territory Bands” of Bruce Stevens, Dean Hudson, and Buddy Bair. He performed in the Jimmy Dorsey Orch., studied at Berklee Coll. of Music, and joined Buddy Rich, playing lead with him on and off (1968–76). He also toured with Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson, and worked with Chuck Mangione, the Canadian jazzrock band Lighthouse, and the Phil Nimmons Orch. In 1977, he returned to Mass, to teach at Berklee for four years, and subsequently put in nine years of service on the jazz faculty at New England Cons. He has played about 30 Broadway shows in Boston theatres and backed up Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, and Ella Fitzgerald. In the early 1990s, he was attacked by a dog, leaving him with severe injuries to his face and an almost completely severed lip; he needed reconstructive surgery and months of practice to re-learn how to play the trombone. During the 1990s, he performed with the Orange Then Blue Jazz Orch. and the Herb Pomeroy Orch. He is the leader of the Rick Stepton Quartet.


Blue Collar (1997); Inspiration (1998).

—Lewis Porter