Rick DePiro, (born May 30, 1967) who is known by his stage name Ricky Dee, is an American Country singer-songwriter, jazz pianist and organist, and a music producer who has recorded and produced over twenty-five albums. DePiro is also the founder of RADCO Music Group, a Los Angeles-based multimedia group consisting of JaRic Records and Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based independent record label and multimedia company that is located, as well, in Nashville, Carol Lynn Designs, an Entertainment industry based jewelry design and manufacturing company, RADCO Media Group, a web design and internet specialty company and the "PLAY MUSIC-ENJOY LIFE!" Piano series for Music and Wellness as part of PLAY MUSIC-ENJOY LIFE! Inc., a non-profit California based company partnered with the American Cancer Society.
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 sibling to two younger sisters Deanna, a computer sales executive and Jacki, a jazz vocalist and a founding and current partner at JaRic Records and Entertainment. Throughout his career, DePiro has been a National Artist for Matsushita/MCA Music Entertainment Group (now Universal Music Group) with Technics Musical Instruments, Roland Corporation as a National Artist and Product Specialist, participating artist and contributor of the I-AM workshop, and VP of KnoC Management- Hollywood. 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.
Early life 1967–1985 and career start
DePiro was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York area. DePiro started performing by "sitting in" with Jazz and Rock bands throughout New York 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. 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. Before he was eighteen, he 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, DePiro studied with his Orchestra "idol" Don Costa as a protégée in Beverly Hills, performed at the Emmy Awards, was the opening act for seven artists/bands and along with his band and vocalist – (then seven years old) sister Jacki DePiro, won a Tri-State contest for a center stage concert at New York indoor Amphitheatre, Melody Fair.
Career and adult personal life
DePiro became the music director for the USWA/AFL-CIO Constitutional Conventions at age eighteen when he was contracted by Richard Davis, International EVP of the USWA. He then performed at eight USWA bi-annual international conventions until the age of thirty-two, often including his sister Jacki in concerts and events. His song America My Home was the first song in the convention's history to be performed and included as official business. DePiro performed the song on the convention floor during the 1994 convention in Las Vegas. DePiro produced a Christmas album in 1984 for vocalist Raine Austen and got his first national jingle contract writing and performing jingles with Ms. Austen for a (then) new chain of the Muffler Man Supply Company, Rainbow Muffler.
In 1984 DePiro was signed to a second record contract this time with Cosmic Records in Cleveland, Ohio. He stayed with Cosmic Records until after the death of friend and mentor Romeo Salerno (Cosmic Records owner and founder) in December 1991. Continuing after the death of Salerno, DePiro recorded new projects and released them under the Cosmic Records banner (through an agreement and promise made to Salerno), with the assistance of Salerno's son Jon Salerno, until starting his own label, JaRic Records, in 1997.
He is a BMI writer and publisher and voting member of NARAS, the recording academy.
In the 1980s DePiro became a music director of Rock Show-Band "Sir Bentley". He toured the United States with the band for over a year. After an additional year performing six days a week as leader of a "house band" at the Bond Court, a downtown luxury Hotel in Cleveland Ohio, playing for local TV shows, concerts in the Park, conventions and special political events, DePiro won a tri-state audition to become the stadium organist for the Cleveland Indians and played the Organ at all home games at Cleveland Stadium for two seasons. With the Indians, DePiro garnered featured press, both for his musical talent and "baseball song sarcasm", in local and National media including ESPN, CNN and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, amongst others. In later years, DePiro has also played stadium organ as a special guest for the Texas Rangers, LA Angels and Chicago White Sox.
DePiro moved to the Los Angeles area to further pursue his career in music in 1986 while still playing Organ for the Indians. He transferred his AFM membership from the Cleveland chapter to the LA/Hollywood chapter, Local 47. In LA, he was initially managed by David Parrish who introduced him to music producer Chuck Sabatino. In his first two years in LA, with Sabatino, DePiro met and recorded several projects with Michael McDonald's band. He also took on a job as music director for Broadway and film actor Sy Kramer, and through Kramer worked with actors including Betty White, Gretchen Wilder, Barbara Luna, Dom DeLuise, Estelle Getty. He also worked with actor/friend John O'Hurley and his (then) wife actress Eva LaRue, took acting lessons in Hollywood, and co-owned a recording studio in Lake Arrowhead, CA. He was later managed by Jon Hichborn and Brendan Cahill (Universal Studios Film Music VP) who handled his career for the next three years where he recorded with several producers including Steve Shiff and Joe Julian (Pet Shop Boys, Simple Minds), performed at the Greek Theater, got airplay on numerous LA Rock stations and became a National Concert Artist for Matsushita/MCA – at Technics Musical Instruments,through founder Nick Orlando. Orlando went on to mentor DePiro for several years after DePiro's initial contract signing. DePiro won National Keyboard Artist of the Year in 1992 and 1993. DePiro is also known as a skilled session and live performance musician, having recorded and/or performed with dozens of notable artists, including Michael McDonald Band, Joe Williams, John Stamos, The Four Freshmen, Johnny Cash, Gary LeVox (Rascal Flatts). Tim Miner, Brian Mcknight, Tony Danza, Shirley Horn, Alicia Keys, Joe Sample, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Kool and The Gang, Joe Perry, Freddie Ravel, George Benson and more. His involvement and contract with MCA/Universal lead him to bring in sister Jacki as a performer at special events, and additionally as Manager of the MCA/Universal Company store where they befriended Chairman Lew Wasserman. Wasserman helped the DePiro's garner performances at Universal Studios for PAC and EIF functions and Special Studio Events and was a personal reference for their second performance at The White House for and by invitation of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton in December 2000.
In 1999 and 2000 DePiro contracted with and wrote music software for Technote America and Style Station Inc. and recorded his 14th – 21st CDs with seven CDs of instrumental cover music under contract with an independent label based in Los Angeles. In October 2000 he was signed as a National Product Specialist and Concert Artist with Roland Corporation through friend and colleague Dennis Houlihan, Roland company president-CEO and current Chairman, and is still a contracted staff artist with Roland. DePiro is one of less than 100 professional music artists to be endorsed officially by the Roland Corporation and the first "staff artist" to ever be endorsed. In September 1999, DePiro got engaged to be married to his longtime (seven years) girlfriend, Yvette Pamela Leon, a musical theater, Shakespeare performer, dancer and published poet/writer, after proposing to her on a gondola in Venice Italy. The couple got married in Laguna Niguel, CA. in November 2000. In December 2000, he and sister Jacki were again invited and performed at The White House, in this instance for five-hundred invited guests at a governors and military reception, and additionally performed a private concert for the president and had a thirty-minute private audience with the president. Soon after the attacks of 9–11, in December 2001, DePiro was invited to perform his song America My Home for New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the Mayor's "Man of the Year" celebration in New York City.
Throughout 2001 and 2002, after the attacks of 9/11, DePiro's "America My Home" was played on more than 400 radio stations nationwide to help reinforce and celebrate the national pride and belief in America, and is still played and performed at patriotic and special events throughout the U.S. annually. To date DePiro has performed over 2500 concerts worldwide in more than 450 cities and has a documented repertoire of memorized songs in excess of 20,000 which is still ranked as one of the highest numbered instrumental repertoires among existing instrumentalists as reported in the Guinness Book of Records.
In 1993 DePiro along with sister Jacki recorded their first Holiday themed CD entitled Christmastime which still airs annually on radio stations across the US during the Holiday Season.
From 2001 to present day
DePiro launched JaRic Records and Entertainment with sister Jacki in 1997 to coincide with the release of their "All About Time" CD. In 1998 DePiro had over US$450,000 stolen from him by his former accountant and former attorney and business partner. His accountant forged a GPA in DePiro's name and left him nearly bankrupt. A federal lawsuit was filed by DePiro and for the next six years was assembled and fought in U.S. Federal Court, finally concluding with a full judgment in DePiro's favor on October 8, 2004. The six-year period stalled the advancement of JaRic Records however during these six years, DePiro still performed in over 700 events including two performances at the White House. Longtime friend and colleague Freddie Ravel joined on with JaRic Records in 2005 as an Artist-Partner. Ricky Dee, Jacki DePiro, Freddie Ravel, Lindsay Jordan, Joe Walla, Emily Davison and others have been signed to JaRic Records. DePiro and his team launched the JaRic website in 2005. DePiro recorded his first solo country music CD in 2006 titled Give Me A Chance under the JaRic label. The CD was received positively when released and was given excellent critical reviews, and is/has been distributed by iTunes, QVC, CDBaby, CD Universe and at/through distribution outlets/channels worldwide. DePiro wrote title cut and 11 additional songs, is credited for all arrangements on this CD and performed on piano, organ, keyboards and all lead vocals. He also is credited for producing the CD. The CD included tracks from Michael MacDonald's Band and songs written and produced by DePiro and co-produced by Nashville producer, Dave Dunston who is also DePiro's live performance Music Director.
DePiro along with drummer Dave Beyer and bassist Hussain Jiffry performed as DePiro's jazz trio on Jacki DePiro's first solo jazz CD in 2006 under JaRic Records, titled Where I Hang My Hat Is Home Rick DePiro wrote title cut and two additional songs, is credited for all arrangements on this CD and performed on piano and vocals. He also was credited for producing the CD. All credits appear in liner notes, on artist website, label website and on websites selling and reviewing this CD, where DePiro is a credited composer (3 songs), arranger (all songs) and producer (all songs). DePiro appeared in and performed on NBC's Las Vegas in 2007 under the direction of Peter Weller, and has also recently performed on and appeared in the motion picture Once Fallen with Weller, Michael Madsen, Brian Presley and Ed Harris. He appeared in and/or performed on The Price Is Right, Breaking Bonaduce, Wheel of Fortune, the Tony Danza Show, CNN, Inside Edition, ESPN, many conventions including the Democratic National Convention, and The Emmys amongst others. He and his label were given the first exclusive distribution deal for a record label in QVC history in 2006 and DePiro's first appearances on QVC included a 15-minute solo performance spot and as a Prime Time guest performer in August 2006. Amongst his concert performances, he has performed in notable venues worldwide including The Kennedy Center, The Greek Theatre, The Hollywood Bowl, MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and, Carnegie Hall. DePiro currently also performs with Peter Weller and a Jazz quintet at the Grand Havana Room, a private club in Beverly Hills CA, several times per year. His artistic versatility has enabled DePiro to perform with dozens of notable artists covering several genres in addition to those mentioned previously in this article including fellow JaRic Records artist, World Champion jazz accordionist Cory Pesaturo.
DePiro tours an average of 70 cities per year currently and earlier in his career, regularly performed over 200 shows/concerts annually covering over 125 cities. He has traveled in excess of 4.5 million air miles, logged over 2500 hotel nights and more than 800,000 highway/road miles, nearly all in performance of music or music-related projects. His music, songwriting, performances, and production projects including his recordings and online videos i.e.:: have been hosted and/or broadcast in 13 countries and in 10 languages.
DePiro and his JaRic Records team signed a development deal with David Baram (The Firm) and his management team at Bridge Entertainment in 2010 for a new Reality Show about the problems in the music industry and how their team (and label) are beating the odds and succeeding. In 2009 after donating his performance for a July 4 Music Concert at Warner Center Park, California, headlining for more than 50,000 people, DePiro (Ricky Dee) was recognized formally with an award from the City Of Los Angeles for his selfless and numerous contributions to the City. In 2010 DePiro signed a multi-year deal with BrassStar Productions, Los Angeles to supply the music exclusively for videos that BrassStar was creating for LA's Metrolink System, Homeland Security for anti-terrorist training videos, the National "See Something-Say Something" campaign for public awareness and threat assessment, and the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department. In 2012 DePiro and his executive team were given a feature article in notable philanthropist and CEO magazine, Art and Living. This referenced issue of Art and Living also featured articles with notables including Mark Narcross, International Real Estate Developer Eli Broad Clothing Designer Hugo Boss Chef and Restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, Visionary and Innovator Walter O'Brien, Real Estate Mogul and Developer Sheldon Adelson, and BBDO CEO John Osborn.
DePiro still continues to travel more than 120 days per year worldwide, has a World Tour planned for the 2017 Concert Season, is currently still a music producer and has also signed on to the I-AM Workshop – Reno Nevada for donated Concert appearances, and as a board member. In March 2010, DePiro, along with his attorney and partner acquired 50% of the Carol Lynn Jewelry Design company. In 2011 DePiro along with his partners launched RADCO Music Group, consisting of 4 companies, JaRic Records and Entertainment, RADCO Music Learning Centers (RMLC's)(and the "PLAY MUSIC – ENJOY LIFE" piano series), RADCO Media Group and Carol Lynn Designs. For 2016 DePiro, through his Charity PLAY MUSIC – ENJOY LIFE! and affiliates, has a celebrity Holiday recording project slated for the Holiday / Christmas Season. In 2014 DePiro wrote a new curriculum for PLAY MUSIC ENJOY LIFE! to accompany a new month-long series of Wellness lessons to be given through donations to thousands of deserving individuals through a new 501(c)3 Music and Wellness organization headed by DePiro and other industry Music and Wellness veterans. In 2014 DePiro and his team also started a "mobile/Outreach" program to bring the Music and Wellness program to the afflicted when they are unable to travel to the PLAY MUSIC – ENJOY LIFE! locations. DePiro lives in the greater Los Angeles area with his wife and son.
|Artist||Title||Year of Release||Label|
|Rick DePiro||Mellow Haze||1983||Mark Records # MC 20063|
|Rick DePiro||It Had To be You||1990||Cosmic Records # CMR 45902-90|
|Rick DePiro||Steals The Night||1990||Cosmic Records # CMR 45113-90|
|Rick DePiro||Artist Series – Vol 1||1992||Cosmic Records # CMR 47353-92|
|Raine Austen||My Christmas To You||1988||Cosmic Records # CMR 46243-88|
|Rick DePiro||Cleveland Rocks Tribute||1987||Cleveland Indians Properties|
|Michael McDonald||No Lookin Back||1986||Warner Bros Records # 9 25534-4|
|Rick DePiro -Chuck Sabatino with Michael McDonald Band||Old Habits – Romeo and Juliet (single)||1991||Cosmic Records # CMR 46435-91|
|Walter Haden – Rick DePiro||Songs of Life||1997||JaRic Records # JR 13110|
|Rick DePiro-Joe Jullian & Steve Shiff||Eternally||1993||Cosmic Records # CMR 44256-93|
|Rick DePiro and Jacki DePiro||How High The Moon||1993||Cosmic Records # CMR 48656-93|
|Rick DePiro with the Billy May Orchestra||Crooner's night||1994||Cosmic Records # CMR 51093-96|
|Rick DePiro and Jacki DePiro||Christmastime||1993||Cosmic Records # CMR 48678-93|
|Various Artists||The Stars of Days of Our Lives||1990||Innovative|
|Rick DePiro||Contemporary Hits (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Latin Moods(software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Mellow Standards (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||In Tribute to Frank (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Great Ballads (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Country Hits (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||The Duke at 100 (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Favorite Standards (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Classic Rock Hits (software version)||2000||Style Station Orem Utah, Technote America|
|Rick DePiro||Contemporary Hits (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403a|
|Rick DePiro||Latin Moods (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403b|
|Rick DePiro||Mellow Standards (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403c|
|Rick DePiro||In Tribute to Frank (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403d|
|Rick DePiro||Great Ballads (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403e|
|Rick DePiro||Country Hits (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403f|
|Rick DePiro||The Duke at 100 (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403g|
|Rick DePiro||Favorite Standards (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403h|
|Rick DePiro||'Classic Rock Hits (CD version)||2003||JaRic Records # 5410-403i|
|Rick DePiro||Somebody New||2002||JaRic Records # 5410-403a1|
|Ricky Dee||Give Me A Chance||2008||JaRic Records # JR 01575-806|
|Jacki DePiro||When Love Walks In||1997||JaRic Records # 4013-297|
|Rick DePiro and Jacki DePiro||All About TIme||1997||JaRic Records # JR4022-997|
|Alan Sweet Project with Rick DePiro and Jacki DePiro||Dig-It-Al||2001||ASP Records|
|Lindsay Jordan||Down Home Heart||2008||JaRic Records # JR 01550-905|
|Jacki DePiro||Jazz Standards 4||1996||Cosmic Records # CMR 51096-96|
|Jacki DePiro||Where I Hang My Hat Is Home||2008||JaRic Records # JR 01525-406|
|Joe Walla||She Showed Up||2009||JaRic Records # JR 01695-809|
|Rick DePiro||'Live at the Atelier (CD version)||2011||JaRic Records # 5410-403j|
|Rick DePiro||'Some Like It Mellow (CD version)||2012||JaRic Records # 5410-403k|
|Rick DePiro||'We'll Meet Again (CD version)||2013||JaRic Records # 5410-403l|
|Michael Mancuso||'All That Matters Now (CD and online version)||2016||JaRic Records # JR 01575-815|