Dick Sisto End of Time Quartet
Artist's BiographyDick began studying the vibes in Grammar school with marimba master Jose Bethancourt of the Chicago Symphony. He attended Notre Dame H.S., which also produced pianists Jim McNeely, Al Pheeney and trombonist James Pankow. While there he was awarded "best soloist" at the state competition. He attended North Texas State Univ. for one year and took a quartet to the Collegiate Jazz Festival where he was judged, "an excellent player" by Julian "Cannonball" Adderley.( see Press Clips ) The following year he attended Northwestern Univ. playing in the lab band with David Sanborn. Soon after that he left school to form a quartet with drummer Maurice White, who later founded Earth, Wind and Fire. The Chicago jazz scene in those days included several jazz clubs that Dick frequented to hear the music of Trane, Miles, Bill Evans, Stitt, Peterson, Garner, Ellington, Basie, etc.
Moving to northern Ca. by 1970 he collaborated with Jerry Hahn, Bill Mathieu, George Marsh, Rich Fudoli and others on a record entitled Ghost Opera. He recorded a vibes solo background for a meditation and yoga record by Swami Kriyananda, which was a best seller of the day and one of the first "new age" recordings. With a grant from the California Arts Council he produced a jazz and poetry project with Gary Snyder and later with Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Sisto took a gig in Louisville Ky. with David Leonhart and John Goldsby at a jazz club called Stanley J's, where they backed many name musicians. At the same time he developed a relationship with the writer and mystic Thomas Merton, who was also a jazz lover.
In recent years Sisto has performed at jazz clubs throughout the midwest including the Green Mill, Andy's and Pops in Chicago, The Blue Wisp in Cincinnatti, as well as festivals in Indianapolis, Nashville, Elkhart, Ind. and Louisville. He has toured Great Britain five times where he received rave reviews, working prominent venues. Festival gigs have included performances with David "Fathead" Newman, Milt Hinton, Ira Sullivan, Willie Pickens, Fred Hersch, Barry Ries, Harry Pickens and others.
Currently, he is the music director at the famous Seelbach Bar at the Seel bach Hilton Hotel where his trio has backed great jazz artists such as Pat Labarbera, David Liebman, Joe Morello, Joe Labarbera, Kevin Mahagony, Bobby Shew, Kenny Werner, Dave Samuels, Rich Perry, Andy Laverne, Don Braden, David Hazeltine, Walt Weiskoff, Scott Wendholt, Lynne Arrialle, Steve Davis and many others.
He also hosts two public radio jazz shows for WFPK, Louisville. The Inner Ear and the most recent called Jazz Folio, an interview and performance show on which he has performed with and/or interviewed guests such as Phil Woods, Toots Thielmans and Paul Winter as well as most of the Seelbach guests previously mentioned. His CD End of Time was 28th on the Gavin Radio Airplay List.
Sisto appears as a sideman on more recent CD's by tenor saxophonist Mark Colby, and guitarist Kenny Poole.
He has been the vibes teacher for the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops for over ten years. Dick is a Musser vibraphone and Pro Mark mallet clinician. He has developed a signature mallet for Pro Mark. ( See mallet page ). He is the author of The Jazz Vibraphone Book, published by Meredith/Hal Leonard.
Dick's wife Penny is the internationally famous fabric artist whose innovative work has been shown worldwide and has been featured in the Smithsonian Institute. His son Jeremy is an actor who has appeared in numerous films as well as the HBO series Six Feet Under. He played the lead in the NBC and TNT mini-series, Jesus and Julius Caesar.