is a saxophone & clarinet artist in Alaska. He teaches band in the Anchorage School District and saxophone at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Rick received full saxophone scholarships for both undergraduate & graduate degrees, and he received a B.A. in Music Performance from Cleveland State University and Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from the University of Akron. Rick was accepted into Doctorate program for saxophone at the University of Indiana with the famous Eugene Rousseau, but instead decided to break from school and has been in Alaska for the last several years dedicating his life to performing and teaching.
In 2015-16, Rick has been working with Berklee School of Music faculty in composing and producing electronic music. He's excited to be working on new sounds and grooves for his upcoming Zelectrik project incorporating jazz elements with electronica.
In 2015, Rick released a joint CD with vocalist and pianist, Melissa "Jazz Mom" Fischer and Anchorage Dispatch writer, Mike Dunham, reviewed that the release was possibly the best ever produced Alaskan CD of any genre.
In the Spring of 2012, Rick released his second and third CD (Icy Grooves & Be Like the Sun) which followed “Rick Zelinsky Live!” in 2010. He plays regularly with his quintet at O'Malley's on the Green Restaurant and trio at Aurora Fine Art Gallery. He’s founder and director of the state’s popular summer band program, Alaska Band, celebrating it’s 12th anniversary (2012). Rick regularly plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass and alto clarinet; midi wind controller and enjoys playing both jazz and classical music.
Since fall 2009, Rick has lead his own series of concerts, the “Jazz Masters Series,” named by the Anchorage Daily News as “Best of” entertainment in Anchorage, and features the music of past and present giants of jazz 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 and UAA Recital Hall.
Some of Rick’s recent highlights: performed with jazz greats, Eddie Palmieri, piano and trumpeter, Brian Lynch; musician in Broadway show, “Chicago;” saxophonist with the internationally known “Blues Brothers;” guest soloist performing saxophone concerto with the University of Alaska Wind Ensemble; guest saxophone soloist with Alaska Chamber Singers; saxophone soloist with country star, T.Graham Brown; featured soloist on CD two 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 striving for inner peace to help all living beings. (www.MeditateInAlaska.org)
Words of praise for the Tribute to the Jazz Masters series:
“As one listened to this band one heard a regular succession of waves of close listening followed by bursts of enthusiasm. It was a near-perfect combination of the casual experience of a club and the high-level musicianship of a concert.”
-Mike Dunham - Anchorage Daily News