Rick Balestra received his Masters Degree in Music from Ithaca College in 1992. He is the Professor of Guitar at SUNY Oswego, Colgate University, and Hamilton College, and recently joined Le Moyne College as an adjunct instructor. Besides being an active music educator, Rick is also a live performer. Rick has performed as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony and Pops Orchestra along with playing in the pit for the Syracuse Opera Company and all of the professional theater companies regionally in numerous productions. He has performed in a number of Local and Regional Jazz Festivals including the Syracuse M&T Jazz Festival, the SUNY Oswego Jazz Guitar Festival, Glenora Wine Jazz Series, and Rochester's Cornhill Festival. Rick performed in all original creative music ensembles under the names of Drivetime, Alliance, Group Therapy, Groove Attack, Paul Cerra Group and continues to perform regularly with the group called SPACES in Central New York.
Rick is the originator and facilitator for the Jazz Guitar & More Festival held at SUNY Oswego for the last six years. This festival has presented internationally known artists such as Rez Abbasi, John Abercrombie, Gene Bertoncini, Pearl Django Roni Ben Hur, Rodney Jones , Vic Juris, Jonathan Kriesberg, Peter Leitch, and Mike Stern, performing along with Rick and other musicians from Central New York.
Currently, Rick performs in many different settings from most recently the Jazz and More Duo (also featuring Chris Colabello) up to a Jazz/Blues Fusion Quintet called "Spaces." He also freelances with a number of the area's finest musicians.
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