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Richie Zellon


(Guitarist, Composer,& Educator), was born in Lima, Peru where he recorded his first album, "Landologia" (Retrato en Blanco y Negro) in 1982 for the Fonovox label. The recording featured Zellon's unique compositions merging Afro-Peruvian music with jazz for the first time. Legendary American jazz musician, Jimmy Heath who met Zellon during one of his performances in Peru and was intrigued by his unique style, wrote the liner notes. Lima';s leading newspaper, El Comercio, called it “..a milestone in Peruvian contemporary music”.

After a brief period of classical composition studies with Edgar Valcarcel, at the time conductor of the Lima Symphony Orchestra, Zellon decided to pursue Jazz studies at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music.

He also received private instruction from Pat Martino, Red Rodney and Charles Banacos. In 1995 he established Songosaurus Music, a record label devoted to the promotion of new Latin Jazz artists from all over the continent."The Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sessions", "Café con Leche", "The Nazca Lines" (Grammy nominated) and "Metal Caribe" are just a few of his critically acclaimed CDs for the label. They showcase a diversity of Latin rhythms covering not only the Brazilian and Afro Caribbean styles traditionally associated with the Latin Jazz genre, but also those pertaining to a variety of South American countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay and of course his native Peru. He has performed in clubs and jazz festivals throughout the US., Latin America, Europe and Israel.

In the years following his national recording debut with the Songosaurus label, he has spent most of his time as producer for dozens of Latin Jazz CD projects. He has recorded and/or performed in the company of such world-class artists as Paquito D' Rivera, Alex Acuña, Danilo Perez, David Liebman, Dave Samuels, Sam Rivers, Jerry Bergonzi, Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Bob Moses, George Garzone, Manfredo Fest, Jeff Berlin and David Amram among others. Due to his innovations within the evolving Latin Jazz field, he has been profiled internationally in various books on its history: "El Diccionario de Latin Jazz" by Nat Chediak , the French book on Latin Jazz, "Caliente" by Luc Delannoy ,"Mixtura: jazz con sabor peruano" by Jorge Olazo, "Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz" and "Jazz Latino" by Isabelle Leymarie ,"Jazz Jews" by Mike Gerber, as well as "Oye Como Va" by Jose Arteaga .

From 2004 to 2007 he served as Professor of Jazz Guitar Studies at Florida International University in Miami prior to which he fulfilled the same position at the University of South Florida (Tampa,FL.). He was also on the faculty at ARTI (Audio Recording Tech Institute) in Orlando for 2 consecutive years. In addition to being a BMI writer and publisher, Zellon has been writing a regular column on Latin American music for "Jazz Improv" magazine since 1999. "From the moment I placed my hands on a Moll guitar, I knew I had to have one. Every note I played, regardless of the register, resonated with a clear lush tone and plenty of sustain and volume. As far as looks go, I can't say enough...the finish on these guitars are absolutely gorgeous !

Congratulations Bill on creating such fine instruments. I am proud to be a Moll endorser!"

Richie Zellon