The Rippingtons are a contemporary or fusion jazz group that are often considered smooth jazz. Formed in 1986 by guitarist and band leader Russ Freeman (not to be confused with the jazz pianist of the same name), their career has spanned two decades. With a revolving door of musicians, Freeman has been the only consistent member.
In the early to mid 90s they were more of a jazz/rock instrumental band, but since 1999 they have developed more into the Smooth Jazz genre. Many of their songs have also been played during The Weather Channel's local on the 8's forecast segments. The band's mascot is a smiling, sunglasses-wearing, jazzy "hep cat" which appears in the artwork of all the band's releases and on their official website.
* Russ Freeman — guitar, keyboards and programming
* Dave Karasony — drums
* Bill Heller — piano
* Ricardo 'Rico' Belled — Bass
* Jeff Kashiwa or Paul Taylor — saxophone
* Percussion is not used on the current tour, the band is a five-piece ensemble.
Past members have included bassist Kim Stone and Steve Bailey, sax players Eric Marienthal, Paul Taylor, Jeff Kashiwa, Brandon Fields, Dave Koz and Kenny G, pianists/keyboard players Dave Kochanski, David Benoit, Gregg Karukas, Tom McMorran and Mark Portmann, drummers Tony Morales, David Anderson, and Dave Hooper, and percussionists Scott Breadman, Ray Yslas and Steve Reid (not to be confused with the legendary Jazz Drummer and Percussionist of the same name, Steve...