An alumnus of the Count Basie Orchestra conducted by Grover Mitchell, Rich Thompson is one of the most in demand drummers in the country. 

Rich’s performances as featured soloist and drummer with the Rochester Philharmonic under the direction of Jeff Tizik as well as with major orchestras throughout the United States and Canada have become legendary. He has also toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Currently he is an Associate Professor of jazz studies and contemporary media at the Eastman School of Music and is a member of the Eastman Jazz Trio/Quartet with Harold Danko, Clay Jenkins and Jeff Campbell.

He has played extensively with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, and guitarist Gene Bertoncini. His highly acclaimed recordings with renowned pianists Bill Dobbins and James Williams, Bobby McFerrin and the Eastman Jazz Trio featuring pianist Harold Danko and bassist Jeff Campbell have become classics for jazz fans around the world.

Rich has written four drum set books which include Drum Set Solos Vol. I (Kendor Music), Modern Jazz Solos for Drum Set (Kendor Music), Billy Hart’s Jazz Drumming (Advance Music), and How to Play Drums in a Big Band(Advance Music), and his drum set transcriptions have been featured in Down Beat magazine.