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Tribute to “Rickbo”


Rick Kerber

That's Rick on the left. Yeah, it's a goofy picture of us in our tuxes, but it's the only one I have!

Rick Kerber and I met for the first time in 1990. He was the professor of the "Brass Methods" class at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Eventually, Rick and I would end up in the same band playing conventions, private parties and other events. Shortly after working with him in that setting, Rick began to recommend me to contractors in Atlantic City, who hired local musicians to back the headliners. Together, we backed Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett, among others. There were record dates and jingles we did together as well. On the teaching side, Rick asked me to substitute for him at several Catholic schools and eventually handed over the programs for me to run. There were so many ways that he unknowingly promoted my career. Most recently Rick nominated me for Secretary of the NJ-IAJE, and he was elected to the position of Vice President.

We lost Rick to cancer recently. He was NOT a saxophone player, however a GREAT trumpet player and educator. I had the pleasure of working with Rick on a regular basis for several years and have never felt a better match between trumpet and tenor. Musically speaking, we communicated without words. I'll miss playing with my mentor and buddy…"Rickbo".

Thanks for all that you did Rickbo! God bless.

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