September 18 Sunday Jazz Matinee: Richie Oropeza Quintet

oropeza_richie_262x3783:00 – 5:00 PM

Admission: $15 General, $12 Seniors (60+), $10  JiA Members, $5 Students w/ ID, JiA Lifetime members & youth under age 12 admitted FREE

CLICK HERE for advance tickets

Richie Oropeza-sax, Augie Mendoza-piano, Ted Sistrunk-bass, Roy Calhoun-drums, Caleb Michel-percussion

Richie Oropeza, mostly self-taught, began playing in small combos and big bands after high school graduation in Detroit. Playing to this day, he specializes in straight ahead jazz, Latin jazz and ‘head’ charts with lots of improvisation.

His first job in Phoenix was with a trio at the Infinity Coffee Shop on Third Street.  Going to Reno, he played in hotel show bands before going on the road with Sid White.  Returning to Phoenix, he was in a band backing vocalist Vic Caesar for a few years, including a gig at Ralph Gaines Colony Steak House.  The singer and his band went to Las Vegas in the 60’s as the opening act for the new Caesar’s Palace.  Returning to Reno, Oropeza worked at the famed Harrah’s Club.
Back to stay in Phoenix, Oropeza led his own group at the Samoan Village, GG’s, Luau and Fogcutter, also working days at SRP, from which he is retired. Richie then worked at the Arizona Biltmore, Inn at McCormick Ranch, Doubletree Inn Scottsdale. Several Sunday brunches in the valley, including the Phoenician.
Occasionally, Richie will be seen and heard out at the Opa Life Greek Cafe, Tommy V’s and private jobs.
Oropeza’s main reed influences  included Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Lester “Pres” Young.  Also enjoys playing vibes and flute, which he plays everyday for practice and grandchildren.

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