Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People

Friendly Rich - Biography

Friendly Rich is a composer from Brampton, Canada. Mr. Rich has composed background music for 3 seasons of MTV's The Tom Green Show. Since 1994, he has recorded exclusively for his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation. Rich completed a Masters degree in music at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel and composer R. Murray Schafer. His main areas of study include musical instrument construction and parade pedagogy.

Friendly Rich has produced and composed 9 full-length CDs to date, having been featured on CBC Radio One (5 documentaries for Outfront), CBC Radio Two (continuous airplay on Brave New Waves), TFO (VOLT) and Muchmusic (Muchnews, BradTV).

Friendly Rich is also the founder and director of the Brampton Indie Arts Festival, an annual event which promotes underground artists, held in February at the Rose Theatre in downtown Brampton. Since 2000, this event has attracted such notable artists as Nash the Slash, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Ron Sexsmith, Cuff the Duke, Bob Wiseman, John Oswald, Moneen, Scott Thompson, Hayden, and many more...

Friendly Rich and The Lollipop People recently signed a deal with Hazelwood Records (Germany) to release two albums in Europe. The group has successfully toured Europe three times in the last three years, most recently in October 2010.

Life is busy with Friendly Rich and The Pumpkin Pie Corporation, but as Friendly always says, “one can either produce, or become produce”.

Film/Television Credits
1994 to 1996 - Composer for children's tv series "The King Stanlislav Show" (Russia)
1998 to 2001- Background music for MTV's "The Tom Green Show"
2005 - 3 pieces used in Thom Fitzgerald's 3 Needles (director's cut) starring Lucy Liu.
2007 - Composed original music for Old Trout Puppet Workshop short film (featuring The Lollipop People).

Lollipop People - Biographies

Since 2004, composer Friendly Rich has had the honour of working with the following musicians on a project he calls The Lollipop People...Meet the Lollipop People:

Brandi Disterheft, double bass

At the age of 25, Brandi Disterheft has already performed at Carnegie Hall, the Vien Jazz Festival, MaryLou Williams Jazz Festival in Washington DC and the TD Canada Trust Vancouver Jazz Festival. Brandi was selected as a composer and performer to participate in Chicago's Ravinia Jazz Program under the direction of Danilo Perez. Having studied with Rufus Reid, Neils-Henning, Oscar Pederson, and Rodney Whitaker, Brandi gained national recognition at the age of 21 when she performed as a featured soloist with the Canada Pops Orchestra. Brandi holds a BA in music performance from Toronto's Humber College and in 2008 was a winner of a Juno Award for Best Jazz Recording.

Gregory Oh, harpsichord

Building a career with an eye towards versatility, Canadian pianist Gregory Oh holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto, where he completed his studies with Marietta Orlov as the top graduating pianist, and the University of Michigan, where he worked with Martin Katz.

He is active in contemporary music, and has premiered works by Hywel Davies, Inouk Demers, Glenn Buhr, Heather Schmidt, Walter Buczynski and Erik Ross. He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed new music group Toca Loca with Simon Docking and Aiyun Huang.

Jeff Burke, bassoon

Jeff Burke has been playing the bassoon in numerous Toronto groups and in various music styles for over 26 years. He has performed with the Shadow Puppets (pop band), Courage of Lassie (folk) and Poppy Seed (Psychedelic rock). Other credits include: Recordings with Edie Brickell, Bob Wiseman, and Gord Downie. Performances with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Valdy, Bob Wiseman, Roy Hargrove, Tyler Stewart & Jim Creegan (of the Barenaked Ladies), Jane Burnett, Richard Underhill & Perry White of the Shuffle Demons, and appearances in music videos with Big Sugar, Bruce Cockburn, Joan Osborne and I Mother Earth.

Julia Hambleton, clarinet/bass clarinet

Julia Hambleton received her Bachelor Degree in Clarinet Performance at McGill University in Montreal and performs on both clarinet and bass clarinet. She has played clarinet high and low, near and far but currently resides in Toronto. She likes to improvise music with Mr. Dave Clark and his Woodshed Orchestra and Woodchopper’s Association, the ladies of chamber group Runcible Spoon and Myk Freedman’s St. Dirt Elementary School. She has recorded with several Toronto musicians including John Millard, Selina Martin, Dave Clark, Ron Davis and Alex Lukashevsky. She is currently experimenting some musical ideas with several groups including bass clarinet trio BC3000 with The Laments, who perform new arrangements of the music of Debussy and Faure.

Kimberley Pritchard, accordion

Mentored by virtuoso Joseph Macerollo she most recently completed her Master's in Performance at the University of Toronto. The accordion has been played in her family by her mother and grandfather. Kim has played the instrument from the age of 5 through her "Flight of the Bumblebee" phase right into the contemporary works of Hatzis, Nimmons, Sokolovic, Buczynski, and Patrick.

Nichol Robertson, banjo

Nichol S. Robertson plays banjo. He also plays guitar, but that was ruined long ago by Humber College's Jazz program. Currently, he teaches music to students young and old, as well as playing to audiences young and old. In thirty years, Nichol S. hopes "to h-h-h-have a pp-p-p-orch to p-p-pp-play on". And sometimes (just sometimes), when no one is looking and the weather is warm, he raids closets in search of coat hangers to slide through.

Scott Good, bass trombone

Scott is a native of Toronto, where he currently resides with his wife Jennifer, and two cats, Beatrice and Simon. He enjoys playing and writing music, and can be found "tooting his horn" in concert halls, churches, clubs, and sometimes on the streets. No where is safe from the menace of his trombone.

Scott Thomson, trombone

Take two (2) lungfulls of hot, somewhat fetid air and push it indelicately through about ten (10) feet of cumbersome brass plumbing.

Marinate nimbly in no less than one (1) pint of brown stimulants, and coat liberally with oblique adjectives. Let sit to croon for an hour or two (2), then serve. Feeds none.

Sly Juhasz - drums

Sly's pulsing bass-drum, rises to the big rhapsodic, like one of Gershwin's compositions, swells to the level of Rachmaninoff, then lapses into quiet poetic interludes that let Sly's delicate use of sticks accent its flow, before rounding off to close" ---c/o Stanley Fefferman, The Live Music Report.