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Quick Questions: Bassist Rich Armandi

We recently caught up with bassist Rich Armandi, featured in April 2019 Chicago Jazz Magazine, and asked a few Quick Questions. Here’s what he had to say!

CJ: What’s your favorite spot for a meal before or after a gig?

RA: My place . . . Both my wife and I are excellent cooks (and the results are obvious on me!!!).

CJ: What music are you listening to right now?

RA: I enjoy Sirius XM radio. The jazz stations have a wide variety of great music from all eras. I’ve also been enjoying my good friend trumpeter Sam Robinson’s debut CD. It’s really wonderful. I also keep up on my classical listening, etc. (There’s only two kinds of music: good and bad!).

CJ: If you’re at a gig and a tourist asks you what to do in Chicago, where do you send ’em?

RA: I’d mention the various jazz clubs, the CSO, the Lyric, foods they must eat while here: Malnati’s pizza, Italian beef, a good Chicago dog (and NEVER put ketchup on a hot dog!!!!), the great museums, a lakefront cruise, top of the Hancock (I don’t know WHAT it’s called currently . . . ), etc.

CJ: French or German bowing, and why?

RA: I use the French bow because it just feels more natural and comfortable to me, though on occasion I’ll switch to a German grip on a bow-heavy Klezmer gig. I teach both styles, allowing the student to determine what is most natural/comfortable for them.

CJ: What events, recordings, etc., are on your musical horizon?

RA: I recently played with Ron Surrace and Dave Fodor at the Northbrook Public Library and judged the North Shore Jazz Festival. On January 19 I had a concert with the Skokie Concert Choir. I have a gig with Jeff Hedberg’s C-11 band in late March, gigs with the Cubs Dixieland Band when baseball season starts, teaching this summer at the Aebersold Jazz Workshops (my 31st year!), and whatever the phone/email brings gig-wise (hint-hint . . . )!

Keep up to date with Rich here.


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