Rich Hommel

My favorite guitar is my Telecaster CV50, at least until my new Fender Ultra Telecaster arrives, although I have a soft spot for my 80s Epiphone Emperor F, and the Stratocaster that I bought off the rack in 1984, and then there is the Epiphone Gibson Les Paul Standard I’m using for open tunings at the moment. I have written songs in almost every genre, I’ve gotten airplay on the East and West coasts, and I’ve played with many artists over the years in Japan and in the States, including with my son, Ryan Hommel. I teach guitar and Bass guitar and I write, compose, and arrange music, and at one time or another I’ve played trumpet, ukulele, percussion, and keyboard.
As a teen, a strong influence, of course, was the Pop and R&B I was listening to AM radio while driving around, but I come from a music family—my dad, an accordion and keyboards player as well as singer, was in a band that played Standards, and my mom was musical as well, singing and playing the mandolin. I’ve been playing since the 1960s, and no one will be surprised to learn that after hearing the Beatles I—along with just about every other American teen male—wanted to play guitar, and for me Led Zeppelin brought my passion for guitar to another level. Being self-taught, I learned by listening and teaching myself chords and scale connections through the use of various Fake Books. But Jazz piqued my interest through Weather Report and Miles Davis, among other greats, and the Jazz idiom has been central to my music interest for decades.
Over the years, I’ve played in Japan and around the U.S.A. with many different bands, playing many styles of music, and getting airplay on both coasts. These days my work with Mary Ann Palermo & First Take is my main performance gig, but I also teach private lessons online and in person.