For Rich Hurdle, jazz has been a lifelong passion. Hurdle, a Central Oregon Community College music instructor was first introduced to music at a young age and said it has influenced every part of his life.
He got into music because he grew up around it.
“In 1959, I heard music with electric guitars and had to go out and buy one,” Hurdle said.
In seventh grade, Hurdle and a few other students got together and started playing band instruments as a group. It wasn’t long before that took off.
“We started getting gigs playing for college dances, youth centers and high school dances,” Hurdle said. “Eventually we were able to get a manager who booked us as opening acts for touring bands such as Ike and Tina Turner.”
Since that time, Hurdle had the opportunity to play with many well-renowned bands in the jazz community.
“We did shows with Steve Miller, Paul Revere and the Raiders and played The Fantasy Fair in Los Angeles with Jefferson Airplane,” Hurdle said.
Hurdle’s advice to beginning musicians is to “keep working and eventually something happens.”
Hurdle’s main instrument is guitar though he has played other instruments such as flute, piano, alto saxophone, and harmonica.
He currently plays Jazz and Blues and performs the first Friday of every month at The Mockingbird in town.
Marie Nye | The Broadside