Biographical Sketch

Jerry Rizzi


Hicksville has an incredibly special place in my heart.  It is the town where I grew up in a house with ten brothers and sisters.
I also had many friends who were my neighbors and classmates.
I graduated from Hicksville High School in 1968 and eventually moved to Texas in 1983.
I have lived in Texas off and on for over 30 years.  I live in McKinney Texas .
I am a late bloomer in many ways in my life.
I am blessed to have three children: Christina my daughter and Benjamin & Anthony my two sons.  They are and always will be my life.
I am a full-time musician; Cello and Bass guitar are my primary instruments.  I pretty much teach private lessons 7 days a week, which include Cello, Bass guitar also Guitar, and Ukulele.

I periodically have performances and I have four recordings/CDs.
The most current are "Driftwood" and "To Whom it may Concern," both a combination of Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Classical.
"To Whom it may Concern" includes spoken word.
Over the years my musical influences came from my father who played guitar and always encouraged me with my music.
Joe Monk a very noted Jazz Blues Guitarist was one of my mentors, I was his bassist for several years and taught Bass guitar at his studio in Great Neck NY in my early mid-twenties.
Also, I received a partial scholarship to Hofstra University for one year and studied Cello with Mr. Seymour Benstock.
One other mentor that I was fortunate to have met and had the privilege to study Bass with, was Jimmy Garrison noted Bassist for John Coltrane. 
I appreciate all forms/genres/styles of music art, which I attribute to growing up in Hicksville .
Some of my works include a symphonic piece titled "Resolution Suite," which was performed by the Chattanooga Symphony.
Another piece of music that comes to mind is "Wakened Dreams" a jazz Ballet that I was commissioned to write and perform.
It was a live performance on stage at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, performed by "Circle of Dance," a Long Island professional dance company.
I had a number of great musicians in my ensemble that night.
I also managed to be blessed to have become friends with Stanley & Naomi Drucker, world-renowned Clarinetists.
I performed with them both and have several recordings.  They lived several towns over in Massapequa .
Stanley was the Principal Clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic for many years.
His wife Naomi was with "The American Chamber Ensemble"
For me and I am sure for many others, living in Hicksville was and is a great location, near to many other great neighboring towns and like most of Long Island, has easy access to NYC.
And as I said, there will always be a special place in my heart for Hicksville .


The basis for Jerry's unique composition and performance style, as heard on driftwood, is derived from a passion for music in all forms combined with opportunities to learn from some of the best artists from various genres. Early In Jerry's Career, he had the opportunity and privilege to study bass with Jimmy Garrison, famed bassist with the John Coltrane Quartet.  Later, while attending Classical Music classes at Hofstra University , Jerry was privileged to study Cello under the guidance of Seymore Benstock.  At the same time, Jerry was utilizing his talents on Bass Guitar as a member of the band for legendary jazz guitarist Joe Monk, a relationship that lasted 10 years.  Jerry still considers Joe as one of the most significant mentors in his development as an artist.