Rich Perks | Guitar Tutor | ICMP London

Professor Rich Perks is a guitarist, composer and academic. He is one of Europe’s leading exponents of the fretless electric guitar, has extensive live, studio and theatre experience in the commercial industry, and has performed all over the world. He continues to be in great demand as a session guitarist, playing much rock, jazz, fusion, experimental, improvised and world music(s). His debut album 'Imposition' (2009) received critical acclaim and his music has been performed internationally. He recently won first prize at the prestigious International Microtonal Guitar Competition in 2023 after achieving second prize the previous year. 

Rich completed a PhD at Brunel University in 2013, submitting a portfolio of compositions and an accompanying thesis entitled 'Combining Musical Identities through Composition and Improvisation'. This practice-based research addressed the construction of compositional methodologies for improvising musicians, primarily working with performers from non-congruent musical backgrounds and cultures.

Rich has performed throughout Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia (including shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Eldfesten, Dunestock, Le Grand Sport, New Morning, The Mod Club, The El Rey Theatre, Slim's, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire). Theatre credits include professional productions of The Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Dirty Dancing, The Rocky Horror Show, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and Our House. He recorded guitars on Iranian pop-rock artist Ali Azimi's albums 'Mr. Mean' (2013), 'Till Glory Finds Us' (2016) and 'Of Love and Other Evils' (2019), and was a member of the live line-up throughout both the 2014–15 and 2016–17 promotional world-tours. In 2017 he was commissioned by Diaspora Arts Connection to lead Strung Together, an intercultural collaborative performance project in San Francisco (US), which brought together virtuosic musicians from Syria, Iran, Kurdistan, US and UK. In 2019 he was awarded a research scholarship to visit Istanbul Technical University to exchange ideas about microtonal applications in guitar performance with Prof. Dr. Tolgahan Çoǧulu, as well as study privately with fretless guitar master Cenk Erdoǧan; In 2022 he received further funding to conduct a collaborative microtonal music project with Tolgahan Çoǧulu in Istanbul.

His improvisation-based group vLookup Trio has toured in Europe. Comprising Andy Hall (trumpet), Tom Atherton (percussion) and Rich (fretless electric guitar), the band explores the sonic possibilities of otherwise limited instrumentation by incorporating technological solutions (including instrumental augmentation, effects processing and additional live electronics). Rich also plays regularly with the Andrew Linham Jazz Orchestra and a variety of World music ensembles.

Prior to pursuing his PhD, Rich was awarded an MMus in Contemporary Music from Brunel University, a first-class BMus in Popular Music Performance from the Guitar Institute (London College of Music) and a first-class BSc in Mathematics from the University of Southampton.

He has studied guitar with Shaun Baxter and Mike Outram; composition with Christopher Fox, Colin Riley and Peter Weigold; improvisation with Richard Barrett; and songwriting with Ray Davies (The Kinks). 

He is joint–editor of '21st Century Guitar: Evolutions and Augmentations' (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023), and has published various academic chapters and peer-reviewed articles. 

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