Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rick Dior began his professional music career at the age of thirteen, playing in and around the metropolitan area in various Jazz, Rock and Latin bands. He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with renowned timpanist Fred Hinger and Jazz Composer Bob Mintzer. He has also studied extensively with famed jazz drummer Joe Morello.
Rick has performed live with some of the biggest names in the music industry including James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Bobby McFerrin, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Jennifer Holiday and Marvin Hamlish among many others. Some of these performances have taken place with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, which he has performed with since 1990 as a section percussionist, principal percussionist and timpanist. He is also currently principal percussionist and timpanist with the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. Rick’s recording credits are extensive and include movie soundtracks, CD releases and commercial radio and television spots.
As an engineer and producer, Rick has been involved in hundreds of projects, many which are currently available on CD (see the CDs Recorded at the Barn page on the Acoustic Barn Studios website). He is the owner, designer and builder of Acoustic Barn Studios, a complete production and recording facility. It is also the home base for Acoustic Barn Productions, a new record and publishing company specializing in Jazz, Classical and Ethnic music recordings.
Rick is also the Professor of Percussion at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and maintains an active private teaching studio. His private students have gone on to attend many prestigious music institutions such as The Julliard School of Music, The Manhattan School of Music, The Eastman School of Music, The Cincinnati Conservatory, North Texas State University and The University of Miami. Many of these students are active as professional musicians.
As a composer Rick has written many compositions and arrangements for Jazz and Latin Groups as well as for the Charlotte Symphony and CSO Percussion Ensemble.Many of his books and compositions are published by Tapspace. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed book "Advanced Coordination for Drum Set and Hand Percussion".
Rick currently endorses Vic Firth Drumsticks, Mike Balter Mallets and Paiste Cymbals.