Rick DePiro, (born May 30, 1967) who is known by his stage name Ricky Dee, is an American Country singer-songwriter, a notable and award winning jazz pianist, and popular/ jazz organist, and a music producer who has recorded and produced over twenty-five albums.
DePiro is also the founder and a current executive of RADCO Music Group which includes RADCO Media group. RADCO Music Publishing, JaRic Records and Entertainment. (a Los Angeles based independent record label and multimedia company that is located, as well, in Nashville.) and Carol Lynn Designs (celebrity jewelry designs for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance). He is the founder and current president and CEO of PLAY MUSIC ENJOY LIFE! Inc (a Los Angeles Based National Charity and IRS recognized 501(c)3 dedicated to bringing Hope and Escape to Cancer Survivors, Alzheimwers patients and Caregivers across the USA,
DePiro is the son of a steel executive (and hall of fame softball pitcher) father, Louis, and Jazz vocalist mother, Joan, (whose uncle, Vincent Nola, founded and owned Nola Studios in New York City and recorded such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Jack Jones and Sammy Davis Jr), and sibling to two younger sisters Deanna, a computer sales executive and Jacki, a well known Jazz vocalist. He is currently a partner at JaRic Records and Entertainment. Throughout his career, DePiro has distinguished himself in a variety of positions in the music industry as an award winning National Artist for Matsushita / MCA-Universal with Technics Musical Instruments, Roland Corporation as a National Artist and Product Specialist, president of RADCO Music and Music Publishing, participating artist and contributor of the I-AM workshop, VP of KnoC Management- Hollywood, and founder/co-owner and current president of RADCO Music Group, Los Angeles. DePiro turned down a scholarship at Eastman College of Music to attend Daemen College and Akron University as a music theory, synthesis and music business major. In 1982 with a qualifying IQ of 165 on an officially monitored exam, DePiro was made a member of Mensa.
DePiro and his very competent and experienced team of industry colleagues have created the newly formed PLAY MUSIC ENJOY LIFE Inc in an effort to help ALL of their students reduce stress in their day-to-day lives, help them learn to play Piano quickly and enjoyably without the burden of daily practice, assist them in experiencing the Music and Wellness benefits of Recreational Music Making, allow students from ALL walks of life to enjoy the many benefits of the PLAY MUSIC-ENJOY LIFE! series so they can play their favorite music right away on the piano and share their positive experiences, and finally help the students exercise the ghost of traditional piano lessons and the fears and bad memories so often associated with past lesson experiences. Managed by DePiro and industry veterans Will Urban and Troy Aleman, PLAY MUSIC ENJOY LIFE! is geared to anyone hoping to reduce stress, have fun and relax while learning to play the piano in a relaxed and friendly environment with no practice required. PLAY MUSIC ENJOY LIFE! Inc plans 37 locations across the USA by 2018.
DePiro was born in Cleveland, Ohio while his father was finishing an Engineering degree at Fenn College of Engineering. DePiro grew up in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York area and started playing Jazz Organ at the age of 10. He started playing Piano by age 12 formally studying both classical and jazz.
DePiro changed his stage name in Country music, (Ricky Dee), in 2000 via earlier advice from Country music mentor Johnny Cash at the Universal Amphitheater just prior to Cash’s concert on September 21, 1990. Throughout his extensive performance career DePiro has often in large part credited his teachers and mentors with his keyboard proficiency and masterful skills. Some of these professional educators and performers rank amongst the most well respected and prominent pianists, organists, keyboardists and orchestrators in modern music history. DePiro’s list of personal teachers and music mentors includes Michael O’Boyle, Carlo Annibale, Don Costa, Pat Pace, Dr. Roland Paolucci, Frank Leone, Jimmy Wozniak, Dr. Michael Boddicker, Dr. Ralph Turek and Oscar Peterson.
DePiro started performing by “sitting in” with Jazz and Rock bands throughout NY by invitation at age twelve. His first “steady paid gig” was as weekly Church pianist at St Matthew’s Church in Buffalo, New York at age twelve. By age sixteen he recorded two albums and was signed to Mark Records by owner and producer Vincent Morette (NY) .
He performed his first solo piano-organ concert at age fourteen and began teaching privately holding twenty-five weekly private students by the age of seventeen. He has been rated as one of the top 100 Jazz organists of all time and one of the top living Jazz pianists in the USA as well.
Before he was eighteen, DePiro had roughly thirty-five television appearances, local and national, airplay on over fifty radio stations nationwide, had written thirty songs and had composed and performed the ongoing theme song for the weekly New York TV talk show Talk Of The Town. Within that same time-frame, he studied with his Orchestra “idol” Don Costa as a protege in Beverly Hills, performed at the Emmy Awards, was the opening act for seven different celebrity artists/bands and along with his band and vocalist – singing phenomenon (then seven years old) sister Jacki DePiro won a Tri-State contest after competing with two-hundred and ninety-seven professional acts for a center stage concert at New York indoor Amphitheatre, Melody Fair.
DePiro has performed in over 450 cities worldwide and taught the benefits of making music as an Artist, and an invited guest speaker / instructor in more than 120 cities and over 70 universities, colleges and high schools throughout his career and now excitedly brings his knowledge and experience to the PLAY MUSIC – ENJOY LIFE piano series so that he can share his expertise and experience with students and friends closer to his home finally!