Dr. Rich Perks is a guitarist, composer and academic based in London. He has extensive live, studio, and theatre experience in the commercial industry. He has toured internationally with many accomplished artists and continues to be in great demand as a session guitarist. His debut solo album Imposition was released in 2009 and received critical acclaim. He has also worked with many contemporary music ensembles, predominantly playing fretless electric guitar.
Rich has studied guitar with Shaun Baxter and Mike Outram; improvisation with Richard Barrett; composition with Christopher Fox, Peter Weigold, and Colin Riley; and songwriting with Ray Davies (The Kinks).
He has a PhD from Brunel University specialising in the accommodation of improvisation within compositional frameworks. Prior to this he was awarded a Masters Degree in Contemporary Music from Brunel University, a First Class Bachelors Degree in Popular Music Performance from the internationally acclaimed Guitar Institute in London and a First Class Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from the University of Southampton.
He has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, North America, and the Middle East (including performances at Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Eldfesten, Dunestock, Le Grand Sport, New Morning, The Mod Club, The El Rey Theatre, and the Shepherd’s Bush Empire). Theatre credits include productions of We Will Rock You, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Dirty Dancing, The Rocky Horror Show, Mamma Mia, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and Our House.
His current research focuses on combining through-written composed material with elements of improvisation; as well as exploring the possibilities of the fretless electric guitar. His work engages newly commissioned performance repertoire; the development of new techniques and original notation; working alongside composers; improvisation; and cross-cultural collaborations through performing modern hybrid-embodiments of music(s) which utilise microtonal tuning systems.
Rich is currently touring with the Ali Azimi band and performs regularly with his improvisation based group vLookup Trio as well as The Andrew Linham Jazz Orchestra.