Rickey Woodard was born in Nashville where he played in a family band with his brothers and sisters, playing Blues and R’n'B around the Nashville area. At an early age, Rickey came up listening to such greats as Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt. Rickey’s favorite saxophone players are Hank Mobley and Geroge Coleman, two of the all time great players.
After leaving Nashville, Rickey went to California and joined the Ray Charles Band where he was a member for eight years. After that, Rickey decided to pursue a solo career and recorded both as a leader and as a sideman for Concord Records.
Currently he performs live, frequently leading his own quartet or quintet as well as performing and recording with The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Frank Capp Juggernaut Band. Rickey also has worked in theater productions, such as Ain’t Misbehavin’ and The Color Purple at the Ahmanson Theatre at the LA Music Center. Other artists he has performed and recorded with are Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Smith, The Temptations, Nancy Wilson and many others. This soulful sax player captures audiences wherever he performs.
Rickey is also a great composer and has over 200 original compositions to his credit in addition to extensive experience in arranging. His latest recording is called Pineapple Delight and consists of all original compositions that are arranged for his Quintet.