Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Eames, Rich (Richad Warren Eames, Jr.)

Eames, Rich (Richad Warren Eames, Jr.), piano, composer; b. Omaha, NE, 15 March 1950. Grew up on parents' farm in southwestern Iowa. His family consisisted of father, Richard Warren Eames, mother, Rachel Hanna Eames, sister, Joanne Eames Dea, and two brothers, Byron Kendall Eames and Alan Lowell Eames. He married  Lynn Defebaugh Eames on Nov. 8, 1986. He started piano lessons at age 7. Also played brass instruments during high school. Attended Michigan State University under a General Motors Scholarship. Studied jazz composition with Bruce Early.

Played gigs around the state of Michigan from 1968-1977, including 6 months with the Mike Grace trio, 2 years with the band "Method", led by Joe Freyre, and 6 months with "Mixed Bag," led by Ron Brooks. Relocated to Los Angeles in 1977, to play with a rock band led by Craig Marsden. This project came to naught, but Rich soon began working with local jazz-rock outfits, including Roland Vasquez and the Urban Ensemble (featuring many local jazz and recording luminaries, including Nathan East, Alex Acu-a, Luis Conte, Pancho Sanchez, Kenny Wild, Justo Almario), Auracle (featuring Steve Kujala and Rick Braun), Nightwind, Max Bennett, Summit, Barry Coates and the Hats, and many others.

In November of 1980, traveled to the Philippines to perform with Angela Bofil. In January of 1981, Rich joined the Pointer Sisters band, in which he was a featured soloist, and toured widely throughout the U.S. and internationally, until March of 1983. In 1983, he began performing with a popular LA band called "The Out Band", which later morphed into the Doug Cameron Group. In January of 1984, he joined Doc Severinsen's traveling group. This group played a wide variety of engagements throughout the US, including pops symphony dates, big band dates, and jazz fusion dates. Doc's fusion ensemble was known as "Zebron" in the early part of Rich's tenure in the band, and later on was known as "Facets." This association also led to frequent "sub" engagements on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (for which Doc was the musical director and bandleader), and continued until November of 1993.

During the 80's, Rich began studying piano with Phil Cohen, of the University of Montreal, and this study has continued into the present, taking place on Mr. Cohen's frequent visits to LA. Also during the 80's, he studied film scoring at UCLA Extension, and with Earle Hagen. During the late 80's, Rich joined the Bill Holman Big Band, an association which lasted throughout the 90's and continues on a less frequent basis into the present.
Also during the late 80's, Rich began a foray into scoring for film and TV, which included composition credits on several network series, including "Saved By The Bell", "Herman's Head", "Rhythm and Blues", "The Fanelli Boys", "Drexell's Class", "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer", and also provided additional music for "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "In Living Color", among others. He also provided music for independent films and live theatrical productions.

Rich continues to work steadily as a jazz musician in LA and on the road, performing both with his own groups, and as a sideman with such artists as the Kim Richmond-Clay Jenkins Ensemble, the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Ensemble, Ed Shaughnessy, Steve Houghton and Emil Richards, the Jazz Tap Ensemble, and many others.

Sky Language; Upstream / Downstream; Barry Coates: Because I Love You, Move Like A Dancer; Bill Holman: The Bill Holman Band, View From The Side, The Music Of Thelonious Monk; Nightwind: A Casual Romance; Willie & Lobo: Fandango Nights; Jerry Kalaf: Trio Music, Noche; Roland Vasquez: Feel Your Dream; Brooke Harris Wolff: The Last Broad Standing; Scott Scheer: Highrise; Saved By The Bell Soundtrack Album; Peter Cetera: Peter Cetera; Carol Knauber: Now You're Talkin', The Juggler; String Attack: Tacos For The Beast; Ray Zepeda: Ray Zepeda; Doug Cameron: Freeway Mentality; Charlie Shoemake: Strollin'; Susan Krebs: What Am I Here For?

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