Rich Willey wears a lot of hats as a freelance jazz musician.

As a freelance jazz musician, Rich plays trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, bass trumpet, and has recently begun playing tuba (look out!). Rich has freelanced in literally thousands of situations and his experience is diverse and varied.

As a bandleader, Rich has presented music at functions and events with a quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, nonet, dectet and even a sixteen-piece big band. Rich’s jazz bands are versatile, playing Latin, swing, dixieland, or bebop styles and employ some of the best players in the Asheville and Western North Carolina region.

As a composer, Rich has written music that has been in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra book for nearly two decades. With over two hundred compositions to his credit, he continues writing and experimenting.

More about Rich as a  Jazz Trumpeter, Arranger, Composer


As an arranger, Rich’s charts have been played around the world. He has done arranger-for-hire work for bands in Spain, Brazil, France, and all over the USA.

Rich is also a recording engineer, recording brass tracks in his Pro Tools studio using a Royer R-122 ribbon mic, a Neumann TLM 193 large-diaphragm condenser mic as well as an Electro Voice RE20 dynamic cardioid mic to add tracks to various recordings from across the USA and also internationally.

Last but not least, Rich is one of the country’s most highly regarded followers and teachers of Donald S. Reinhardt’s Pivot System, having studied with Reinhardt for eight years, even moving to Philadelphia from 1981 through 1984 to seek out the great master teacher. Rich continues to teach in his studio in person and via Skype as well as through clinics all over the USA.

More about Rich as a  clinician & guest artist



Rich Willey—freelance jazz musician