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Skidmore College
Music Department

Richard SyracuseRichard Syracuse

private music instructor

Phone: (518) 580-8382  
Office: Zankel Music Center 321


Rich has been a mainstay on the New York area scene for more than three decades. While performing at an early age in New York City he was the winner of the prestigious Congress Of Strings Award. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Rich performed with The Group For Contemporary Music under the Conductor Charles Wournin and Harvey Solberger, The Hartford Ballet and the New Jersey Lyric Opera Co. During the early part of his career he performed in Jazz groups featuring pianists John Mehegan, Joey Calderazzo and Ted Rosenthal. After moving to New York State's Hudson Valley in the mid 1980's he began a long-standing stint in the Nick Brignola Quartet playing clubs, festivals, and recording sessions. Besides his years with Brignola, he has performed with Mose Allison, Kurt Elling, Dave Liebman, Brubeck Brothers, Warren Bernhardt, SumiTonoka, David Torn, Mike DeMicco, Peter Levin, Sam Morrison, Bernard Purdy, Vic Juris, Dave Stryker, Chuck Lamb, Jeff "Siege" Siegel, Dena DeRose, John Medeski, Michael Musilliami and Ali Demogli. Rich had been the bassist for Jazz pianist Lee Shaw for over 25 years until her passing.

Rich is Professor for String and Electric Bass Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York, Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut and Bass Professor and Ensemble Coach at The State University of New York at New Paltz. Rich is an Individual member of the International Association Schools of Jazz. Rich has toured throughout Europe, South America, and Southern Africa.


  • "Shaw's highly cohesive trio consists of bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff Siegel, who play together so well and change direction so deftly that it's as if they share a collective consciousness." Downbeat - Chris Robinson
  • "..bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff 'Siege' Siegel often seem to think as one and the music is both beautiful and quite unpredictable." Los Angeles Jazz Scene - Scott Yanow
  • "Her (Lee Shaw) longtime cohorts, bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff 'Siege' Siegel, remain consistently inventive and enjoyable.." - Jazziz
  • "Bassist Rich Syracuse plays some splendidly inventive solos and drummer Jeff Siegel provides some thoroughly supple solos during his turns at bat." Audiofile Audition - Mike Birman
  • "Together they achieve ebullient sense of swing." – Cadence - David Franklin "Exemplary-bassist Syracuse weaving in and out of her solos, while getting plenty of time to show off his marvelous creativity." - Larry Taylor

Recent Duo recordings with Guitarist Michael Musillami ; "Of The Night" (Playscape recordings) was featured as:

  • "The New York City Jazz Record" Best of 2016. 4 Stars- Howard Mandel, Down Beat.
  • "An absolute Must" -Jos Demol, Jazz Halo.
  • "This is music making of the Highest order"- Budd Kaplan, AAJ.