The Gregg Rickards Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to allow the 2006 East Hampton High School graduate's passion for music to live on, his mother, Teresa Rickards, told The Independent.
Following Rickards' death last summer, his college roommate Ryan Adam Sadis wrote, "His passion for music motivated me to better myself. His drive as a musician makes him without a doubt the best bassist I have ever met. Gregg spent hours talking me into not dropping out of school when things got tough and always reminded me that I had the potential to accomplish anything as long as I stopped messing around and put my mind to it. I was lucky enough to share the stage, the studio, and a dorm with him."
His mother described Rickards as "a gentle giant, a man of few words." But his love of music clearly touched the lives of those around him, as evidenced by the number of local musicians eager to participate in a concert honoring his memory. This Friday night, Rickards' passion will live on at a memorial concert that's drawn 10 individual musicians and bands, ready to entertain in their friend's memory.
Michael Clark of Crossroads Music, one of the organizers of the concert, offered an overview of the evening's lineup.
Rickards was a member of the Jazz Band in High School and the EHHS Fiddle Club, which will both perform.
Musicians Peter Weiss and Jane Hastey are on the roster. Said Clark, "Peter will play Gregg's stand-up bass accompanied by his wife, Jane doing a few songs that Gregg's parents requested. Peter was Gregg's bass instructor."
Members of the band Casanova Frankenstein played in Jazz Band with Rickards and "the drummer, Kevin Foran actually played with Gregg at college (Oneonta) as well," Clark informed.
Monkfish, comprised of a current member of the Jazz Band and a previous member of Jazz Band, will perform original songs, while The Jet Set Renegades, also comprised of current members of the Jazz Band will be doing SKA type of music.
Former classmates in the local band, The Treetop Thieves, will offer original songs, while EHHS teacher Josh Brussels' band of local guys, Little Head Thinks, brings classic rock and originals. The 3rd Estate and Mama Lee Rose & Friends round out the lineup.
Tom Bono has donated a specially customized guitar and amp set to the raffle, which also includes a framed photo by Dell Cullum Custom Photography. Admission is free, but donations to the scholarship fund will be accepted at the door.
Speaking of the outpouring of support and number of participants who stepped up to perform at Friday night's concert, Teresa Rickards said, "It's very touching, how we're all coming together."
Showtime Friday is 7 PM.