Rich Hinrichsen

Tango Cowboy CD Release


Our CD "Tango Cowboys" will soon be loaded onto the wagon and delivered to Bellingham, Washington. The music will take you from the cowboy camp underneath a sky of stars to the Buenos Aires cafe. It will be available for purchase at the Bellingham Folk Festival January 25-27 and Ott & Murphy Tasting Room January 25th. In the credits you will see a cast of characters from our Ellensburg days, including Steve PehaPeter Karl, Renee Adsitt, Todd Zimberg, Kirsten James, and Sue Perry! Photo by Jim Carroll.


New Duo "Tango Cowboys"



I've formed a new duo with guitarist Tom Bourne. We specialize in vocal tangos from Buenos Aires written in the 30s and 40s. We also perform cowboy songs, boleros, Italian art songs, and songs from golden age of musical theatre. Tom and Rich first played together at Central Washington University as members of the group "Twangbabies." 

Carlos Gardel


Carlos Gardel

Lately, I've become obsessed with the music and singing of Carlos Gardel, who was a famous tango singer from Argentina. He wrote and recorded many three-minute tangos that were works of genius. A search of the internet turned up this story on NPR,  which is quite good. Tragically, he died in a plane crash in 1935 at the height of his career.

Two Sold-Out CD Release Concerts


Rich and Willy Ertsgaard in Seattle, WA, March 27th, 2014.

Rich introduces Stephen Cohen of The Tree People and The Walking Willows, at his CD release concert in Longview, WA, March 29th, 2014. Photo by Sheila Morey Wheelan.

I  just released my new CD, "Midnight Labors," at two concerts, one in Seattle, WA, and the other in my hometown of Longview, WA. The concerts featured live performances of most of the songs which I wrote over the last 34 years.  I performed my first jazz composition, "Sleepy Eyes," which I wrote in the Mark Morris High School band room for my girlfriend (at the time) Wendy Burnette when Jimmy Carter was president and before Mt. St. Helens erupted. My youth choir director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Longview, Willy Ertsgaard, attended the Seattle performance at the CMA gallery and Performance Space (see top photo). The Seattle concert featured Chuck Deardorf on bass, Matt Jorgensen on drums, Stuart MacDonald on sax, and Kirsten James on flute.  The Longview concert featured Dave Captein on bass, Todd Strait on drums, and Dave Evans on sax. Special guests included singer-songwriter Stephen Cohen of the Tree People and the Walking Willows, and singer Sherri Kingsley,  who graduated from Mark Morris High School with me in 1980.  I will never forget the feeling of being surrounded by my friends and family and performing my best for them. These concerts fulfilled a long-time dream of mine.

Kaylie & Kellie



This song is my own "Linus and Lucy."  I went to elementary school with twin sisters Kaylie and Kellie. I had a crush on them in the 5th or 6th grade.  After finishing my paper route, I would ride my rust-colored Schwinn Continental by their house. I had a mop of curls and was very shy. One day, when I rode my bike by their house, they were both waving to me through the window and my heart leapt out of my chest! I thought they were the most beautiful girls I had ever seen.  They waved me inside to meet and introduce me to their parents. I continued to ride my bike to their house and we spent afternoons at a nearby playground. Kaylie and Kellie decided to line up several picnic tables and we leapt from one to the next. The twins giggled and their long hair danced behind them, until we collapsed from exhaustion.

A jazz CD makes no sense


Over the last year, I pulled together nine songs that I began writing when I was a teen (pictured above far right) to keep a promise to myself: make a jazz record. As a teen, a record was impossible because I was broke and had zero piano technique. Today, I'm still broke, and a CD makes no sense in the brave new world of streaming.  As a jazz pianist you are up against Oscar PetersonArt Tatum, and more recently, Eldar; when writing, Duke Ellington,Horace Silver, and Benny Golson. In spite of this, I plan to present a CD to myself on the occasion of my 52nd birthday in March, with songs that mean something to me, including songs I wrote about  Guantanamo Bay prison, a crushing breakup, and playground antics with the South Twins Kaylie and Kellie.

"I don't know what you are playing, but it's not what we want to hear."



I recall playing a gig in 1986 at a Clemson South Carolina party (see picture above). Eddie Wynn (sax), Dick Underwood (piano) and I (bass) were playing a song called "Jordu," a 1953 jazz standard made famous by Clifford Brown and Max Roach, when a woman walked straight up to the bandstand and said "I don't know what you are playing, but it's not what we want to hear."


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