Smithsonian Collections

Buddy Rich

Image for Buddy Rich
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Self-taught and a born showman, Buddy Rich excelled at delivering extended tour-de-force solos that were the hallmark of flamboyant, swing-style drumming. A prodigy who made his professional debut while still a toddler, Rich was a fixture on the vaudeville circuit throughout his youth. He joined Joe Masala’s jazz band in 1937 and thereafter played for short periods with the big bands of Bunny Berigan, Harry James, Artie Shaw, and Benny Carter. While serving as the drummer for Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra (1939–42), Rich appeared in several films, including Ship Ahoy (1942), which featured his bravura solo on “Hawaiian War Chant.” He also became known for legendary drumming “battles” waged over the years with Gene Krupa. Rich led his own big band intermittently between 1946 and 1951, and toured extensively with Norman Granz’s “Jazz at the Philharmonic” troupe. After his long association with Harry James’s group (1953–66) ended, Rich returned to fronting his own ensembles.
Autodidacta y artista innato, Buddy Rich brillaba en sus dilatados solos, verdaderos tour-de-force que caracterizaban el estilo espectacular de los bateristas en la época del swing. Rich fue un niño prodigio que debutó profesionalmente siendo casi un bebé, y pasó su juventud en el circuito del vodevil. En 1937 se unió a la banda de Joe Masala y luego tocó por breves períodos con las orquestas de Bunny Berigan, Harry James, Artie Shaw y Benny Carter. Como baterista de la orquesta de Tommy Dorsey (1939–42) figuró en películas como Ship Ahoy (1942), donde interpretó un ardiente solo en “Hawaiian War Chant”. También se hizo famoso por las legendarias “batallas” musicales que libró a través de los años con el baterista Gene Krupa. Rich dirigió su propia banda de manera intermitente entre 1946 y 1951, y realizó numerosas giras con el elenco de “Jazz at the Philharmonic”, manejado por Norman Granz. Al finalizar su larga asociación con el grupo de Harry James (1953–66), se dedicó a dirigir sus propios conjuntos.
Artist
Herman Leonard, 1923 - 2010
Sitter
Buddy Rich, 30 Sep 1917 - 2 Apr 1987
Date
1954 (printed 1998)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Medium
Selenium-toned gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 39.6 × 32.2cm (15 9/16 × 12 11/16")
Sheet: 50.6 × 40.6cm (19 15/16 × 16")
Frame: 71.8 × 56.5 × 3.8 cm (28 1/4 × 22 1/4 × 1 1/2")
Type
Photograph
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
NPG.2014.111.23
Topic
Interior
Music\Musical instrument\Drum
Buddy Rich: Male
Buddy Rich: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Drummer
Portrait
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Restrictions & Rights
© Herman Leonard Photography LLC