He was a saxophonist, music director and teacher born John Richard Garn in Saginaw, Michigan, who was active in the Edmonton music industry in Alberta, Canada, and joined the faculty of Grant MacEwan College in 1975.
Through the course of his career he performed as a guest soloist and member with many groups and artists such as his own trio, the Edmonton Wind Ensemble, Mike Fijal, the Trocadero Orchestra, University of Regina Jazz Band and the Tommy Banks Orchestra (with whom he played when they won an award at the Montreaux International Jazz Festival during the 1980s. He also directed the Grant MacEwan Dixie Band and the Grant MacEwan College/University of Alberta Big Band.
His recordings included Snake Fence Country by the Edmonton Wind Ensemble and albums by Robbie Campbell and Kennedy Jensen.
In the field of musical education he was on the music faculty of the Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton in his honour they have established the Rick Garn Award.
He passed away in March 2004 after he was taken ill while watching a recital by one of his students.
Edmonton Wind Ensemble recordings
Snake Fence Country (Howard Cable)
CBC Records SMCD 5165
Conductor – Harry Pinchin
Here’s a performance of “Mele Kalikimaka” with Rick on soprano sax….