Dick Berk

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Dick Berk
Berk at Wilfs in 2009
Berk at Wilfs in 2009
Background information
Birth nameRichard Alan Berk
Born(1939-05-22)May 22, 1939
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 8, 2014(2014-02-08) (aged 74)
Portland, Oregon
InstrumentsDrum kit
Years active1960s–2014
LabelsDiscovery, Trend, Reservoir, Nine Winds

Richard Alan "Dick" Berk (May 22, 1939 – February 8, 2014) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.[1]

Berk was born in San Francisco, California. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and played in the Boston area early in the 1960s. In 1962 he moved to New York City and played there with Ted Curson and Bill Barron in a quintet from 1962 to 1964. Following this he played with Charles Mingus, Mose Allison, Freddie Hubbard, and Walter Bishop, Jr., among others. He moved to Los Angeles late in the 1960s, where he played with Milt Jackson, George Duke, Cal Tjader, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Blue Mitchell. He founded the Jazz Adoption Agency in the early 1980s, playing into the 2000s; among this group's alumni are Andy Martin, Mike Fahn, Nick Brignola, Jon Nagorney, Keith Saunders, Tad Weed, and John Patitucci.

He died in 2014, aged 74.[2]


As leader[edit]

  • Rare One (Discovery, 1983)
  • Big Jake (Discovery, 1984)
  • More Birds Less Feathers (Discovery, 1986)
  • Music of Rodgers & Hart (Trend, 1988)
  • Let's Cool One (Reservoir, 1991)
  • Bouncin' With Berk (Nine Winds, 1991)
  • East Coast Stroll (Reservoir, 1993)
  • One by One (Reservoir, 1995)

As sideman[edit]

With Walter Bishop, Jr.

With Ted Curson

With Don Friedman

With Milt Jackson

With Blue Mitchell

With Cal Tjader


  1. ^ Dick Berk at AllMusic
  2. ^ D'Antoni, Tom (February 10, 2014). "Dick Berk, Jazz drummer, Portlander, dead at 74…TRIBUTE UPDATE". Oregon Music News. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.