Originating from Chicago, IL, Charles "Rick" Heath IV is a versatile and renowned musician from local to international levels. Playing anything from Jazz and Blues to Gospel and Latin music, his signature sound is prominent in the recording studios, concert settings, live Broadway theater platforms, and currently as the drummer for pianist and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis. Some of his proudest accolades include works with Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, and Slide Hampton. He also served as the resident drummer with the national tour of Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones' theater production of "The Color Purple." He is often rotating hats of composer, band leader, recording artist, musical director, producer and teacher and simply inspires and outreaches to his surrounding communities at all times.
Mr. Heath began his musical journey as a drummer very early in life. It was said his mother would sit by the drums in church during the time she was expecting him, and she said, "When the drums started kicking, he started kicking, and when they stopped, he stopped." After being born, Charles would beat on anything he could get his hands on. Charles took no prisoners as he destroyed spoons, forks, combs and brushes to make music. He stared grabbing attention back in his grammar school days by winning countless local talent shows and moved along to begin working professionally in Chicago already by the age of 14. He then carried on to Shaw University in North Carolina attaining a degree in Music Performance while on full scholarship. There he started his first quartet entitled "Touch of Jazz" and performed at local political events and private parties.
Upon his return back to Chicago from college graduation, Mr. Heath was quick to start playing and collaborating with Chicago jazz legends such as Von Freeman, the Ken Chaney Xperience, Malachi Thompson, Robert "Babe" Irving III and was even a part of a documentary of the legendary Oscar Brown, Jr. His talents have been showcased at renowned venues and events such as: The Chicago Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Showcase, Birdland (Edmonton, Canada), The Blue Note (Poznan, Poland and Tokyo, Japan), San Juan Jazz Festival, BB King’s (New York City, NY), Jazz Alley (Seattle, WA), Ronnie Scott’s (London, England), Le Duc Des Lombards (Paris, France), and Porgy & Bess (Vienna, Austria).
Heath’s prominent sound can be heard on recordings with Ramsey Lewis, Robert “Babe” Irving III, Bobby Broom, Zvonimir Tot, Larry Gray, Sergio Perez, Ken Chaney and the Roger Harris Trio. He proudly launched his first independent recording project entitled "Conversations" encompassing the sound of his very own Charles Heath Quartet.
Currently, Mr. Heath produces a live jazz concert series every Wednesday entitled: “Charles Heath Presents: Jazz’n on the South Side.” Heath prides himself in booking the best local and international talent Chicago has to offer. Some of the performing artists include legends such as: The Willie Pickens Trio, Dee Alexander, Ari Brown Quartet, Corey Wilkes Quartet, Freda Lee, and many more. For more information, please visit: http://charlesheathpresents.com/
Mr. Heath has also touched the lives of many of his students as a renowned teacher and has opened many doors outreaching to underprivileged youth. He has implemented the music program at Ruggles Elementary School and developed a "Say No To Drugs" Drumline having the youth perform at a local annual "Say No To Drugs" parade. He's implemented a marching band for the Alain Locke Charter school and produced a concert where he was able to raise $10,000 for the school to purchase instruments for the children. He has taught at South Shore High School, Kellar Middle School and taught private lessons for troubled African American males at the New Direction Outreach Center.
Mr. Heath is the founder and director of The Heath School of Music, currently located in Kennicott Park (4434 S. Lake Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60653). The music school offers studies of brass, woodwind, percussion, piano, and string instruments. All classes are taught by master musicians and educators. Mr. Heath is always looking for new students! To learn more about the school and enrollment, please visit the School page here.
Charles "Rick" Heath IV is continuously breaking barriers in his career as a musician, mentor, and humanitarian. He is always leading with a cutting edge approach with a passionate heart and professional class. To contact Charles Heath about more information on the Heath School of Music or performances at “Jazz’n on the South Side,” e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org