Rick Willoughby has been playing string instruments practically his whole life. He began playing the violin at age three, and discovered his love for the string bass at eleven. In 2004, Rick Willoughby graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music with a B.F.A. in Jazz Performance. During his time at UMKC, Rick had the privilege of studying with Gerald Spaits, a Kansas City native and one of the foremost bass players in the area. Throughout his career, Rick has studied and taught various styles of bass technique. For the last twenty years, Rick has worked as a bandleader and accompanist around the greater Kansas City area, and has had the privilege of touring the country with various groups. Rick’s main projects include: Quixotic, Victor & Penny and their Loose Change Orchestra, founding member of The Snow Globes, and slingin’ low notes at various jazz haunts around town.
The found time that the pandemic has afforded Rick has manifested in many creative pursuits. He has been especially grateful for the extra practice time with his new upright bass which he purchased last year by the maker Bjorn Stoll. It travelled from a remote village in Germany, so to honor its German heritage Rick named it Elsa, and looks forward to taking her out to various jazz clubs. Also, this pause has allowed Rick to combine his love of music with his other creative skills in the film world. The integration of music and media has always been a passion of Rick, and during this season, he has been able to explore this in a way like never before. He has collaborated on a series of jazz shorts with local KC musicians–a highlight of which included the performance of one of his original compositions “Waiting in Patience” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXRRlErlDY Rick also had the opportunity to work with long-time friends in Quixotic to develop a new way to reach the community with live performance by blending the elements of live broadcast with pre-recorded pieces to create Sensatia | Virtual Cabaret - https://vimeo.com/423747664?fbclid=IwAR3yPdN_aNYryByRsZspupveDz2tX402Pl1SOb_J__nSlHbVm0 Qv8lCvDEI