By Pat Prescott

An iconic LA event returns this Saturday after an eight year absence. Jazz at Drew returns to the campus of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science for a concert that will raise funds for the students. Rickey Minor has donated his talents many times over the years and the return engagement is no exception.
Rickey stopped by the morning show today and then hung out for an overtime conversation about Jay Leno, American Idol, getting married and co-producing the TV special for the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Overtime with Rickey Minor:

Rickey had a prominent place in the finales of two popular TV programs. He was musical director during the final years of Leno’s historic late night TV run and the mother of all music competition shows, American Idol. It all started for Rickey over thirty years ago when he worked with Gladys Knight and then Whitney Houston. Looking back at Idol, he is proud to have been involved in the careers of some amazing talents who benefitted from the Idol platform. As for Jay Leno, Rickey says there’s no one like him.

Rickey just returned from Washington DC where he was on the production team for the opening program for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Quincy Jones, who is the executive producer of the show and Don Mischer who is famous for producing the Oscars, Emmys and Super Bowl Half Time shows, invited Rickey to work on the show. A two hour special will air early next year. Rickey says it was a challenge to cover over two hundred years of contributions made by African Americans. One of the reviews says the show covers everything from Hallelujah to Hip Hop and features top notch stars including Mary J Blige, Gladys Knight, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Patti Austin.

About four months ago Rickey got married. He says what he loves about his wife most is her peaceful spirit, her kindness and generosity, all qualities that Rickey has himself actually. She is an actress and dancer. They met on a job and kept running into each other. She had written a play and needed help with the music so after working together on that project, they became closer and eventually fell in love. Rickey believes that the same things that make a personal relationship work apply in family and work relationships too. The key for him is respect.

Rickey started doing yoga a few years ago. He’s also been hiking a lot and he would like to engage in more outdoor activities but what really makes him happy is giving. He’s been working with Stand Up to Cancer, with Dr. Keith Black who is the Chief of Neurology at Cedars Sinai and with Good Shepherd Homeless Shelter For Women. He likes to quote a line from the Shirley Horn classic “Here’s To Life”, which says “All you give is all you get so give it all you’ve got”. This is how Rickey Minor lives and why so many good things come his way.

Jazz At Drew
Saturday October 1, 2016 from 12 noon – 10pm
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
1731 E 120th St
LA 90059
For more info call 323-357-3669 or visit

When purchasing tickets, use promo code CJAZZ and save $20 off your $65 General Admission ticket.


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