||Rich “Rico” Adams
Influenced by his Father who plays saxophone and Mother who played piano, music has always been an integral part of Mr. Adam’s life. Born and raised in Chillicothe, Ohio in the late 60’s, as far back as he can remember, his family has always been involved with music. Rich’s contribution to his family’s musical heritage started by drumming on “pots and pans.”
At age 8 he began to play drums at his family’s church and his musical journey was under way.
In 1992 Rich was asked to be the drummer at his home church, New Covenant Believers, under the pastorship of Bishop Howard Tillman. Adams served for the next sixteen years, under the powerful mentorship of Elder Lance Darden, Minister of Music, and continued to grow as a musician. During this time, his gift for composing was used on a CD produced by NCBC. The exposure gained at New Covenant Believers Church allowed opportunities for his God-given gift to be used in other musical venues, including playing with artists such as Chip Davis & Company’s Christian smooth jazz group, and opening for and accompanying many gospel artists such as Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Choir, Bobby Jones, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Tramaine Hawkins, and David Whitfield, brother of the late Thomas Whitfield, just to name a few.
In 2001 Rich became the drummer for NexLevel, a Columbus based smooth jazz band. During this time the band produced 2 CDs, which contained material written and produced by Adams. NexLevel was an extremely popular local group and performed for Mayor Michael Coleman’s inauguration gala, and opened major concerts for national smooth jazz artists such as Ken Navarro, Spyro Gyra, and many others. For three consecutive years Adams and NexLevel were headliners for the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Festival, as well as a top drawing group on the local club circuit.
Throughout the years, weaving in and out of different genres of music, major musical influences have been Rich’s uncle, the late Bill Brown, recently inducted into the Columbus Jazz Musicians Hall of Fame, Joel Smith, Bill Maxwell, Steve Gadd, Marvin McQuitty, Teddy Campbell, Dave Weckl, Aaron Spears, and the list of drummers that could go on and on.
When asked what his ultimate goal in music is, Rich stated, “my prayer is that people are blessed, touched, and inspired through what God has enabled me to share with the world. It’s a life long journey and, God willing. I’ll keep doing this until I draw my last breath.”