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|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Associated acts||Santers, Lee Aaron, Darlene Watters, Orhan Demir, Self|
Rick Lazaroff grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Macedonian-Canadian Alex Lazaroff and Bette Usher of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, (January 30, 1935 - September 6, 2007). His father, Alex Lazaroff, was a prominent Canadian jazz musician with a career spanning more than half a century. Alex was well known for his work in the 1960s with the CBC Television show, Music Hop (with host Alex Trebek), and for his long standing house gig at the world famous Royal York Hotel. During his long career, Alex Lazaroff accompanied such notable performers as Chet Baker, Lenny Breau, Mel Tormé, Peter Appleyard, Moe Koffman, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Peggy Lee, Oscar Peterson, Joe Venuti, Jack Sheldon and many more. Alex spent more than 40 years playing with band-mates (Robert) Bob Price and Norman Amadio as the "Norman Amadio Trio". As a young child, Rick Lazaroff was given an unprecedented view of jazz artists and jazz music. Although much of his early career was in rock music, his deep respect for jazz was never far from the surface.
In the summer of 1979, Rick Lazaroff joined up with Rick and Mark Santers to form "Nouveaux Riche" which later became Santers, also known as Rick Santers Band. Santers was signed to the Canadian label Ready Records for whom they recorded 3 record albums and an EP (4 songs). The band split up in 1986 when Rick was offered a chance to join Canadian rockers Triumph and later re-grouped in 2001 for live engagements. Before the reunion, 2 separate CD collections were released in Germany and then Japan which spurred the interest in reforming the band.
Rick was never a conventional player and insisted on improvising wherever possible. This attitude would at times conflict with his band-mates, but his style, while unconventional was his trademark. In 1988, Rick Santers replaced Rick Lazaroff with bassist Matthew Gerrard and Guitarist Sil Simone, which resulted in a more pop sound. This act toured as "Rick Santers". This change was well received by fans. The change was intended to set Rick Santers on the path to being a solo artist, which he would successfully achieve several years later.
Canadian "Metal Queen" Lee Aaron and Santers were managed by Bob Connolly. When Bob was looking for a band to help write and record for her, he called upon the Rick Santers band to help. The boys co-wrote and/or played on six of the ten tracks. The resulting album was called The Lee Aaron Project, later re-titled simply "Lee Aaron". It also featured several other popular Toronto area musicians including Buzz Sherman (formerly of Moxy) and Frank Soda.
In 1989, Rick Lazaroff met Turkish born jazz guitarist Orhan Demir. Orhan's improvisational and eclectic style of jazz, mixed with his obvious Turkish influences, was extremely attractive to Rick. Orhan was well respected in the jazz community and was the recipient of several positive reviews in respected jazz magazines such as "Downbeat" and "Cadence". Along with drummer Jack Vorvis and Rick Lazaroff, Orhan recorded "Windmill", which was released in 1990. "Windmill" mixed middle eastern scales with classic be-bop rhythms. Orhan is well known for his blistering fast picking lines.
Just after the break-up of Santers, Rick met singer, Darlene Watters, at a local Toronto nightclub (1988). They formed an immediate bond which led to a personal and professional alliance. Rick and Darlene were married on September 19, 2003. Although their original music was not signed to any commercial label.
- 1981 Shot Down In Flames - Santers
- 1982 The Lee Aaron Project - Lee Aaron
- 1982 Mayday - Santers
- 1982 Racing Time - Santers
- 1984 Guitar Alley - Santers
- 1989 Windmill - Orhan Demir
- 1995 1st Shot And 2nd Shot (box set released in Germany) - Santers
- 1996 Dancing Off The Deep End - Darlene Watters
- 1996 Santers IV (box set released in Japan) - Santers
- 1999 Originals - Orhan Demir
- 1999 Top Secrecy - Santers
- 2000 Cold Fusion - Santers
- 2006 Groovistico Ballistico - Rick Lazaroff
- Rick Lazaroff Official Website. "Groovistico Ballistico". Retrieved November 20, 2006.
- Interview with Rick Lazaroff. November 20, 2006.