Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman

MARCH 26 • 7:30PM

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Tickets: $99, $89, $79, $45 | Limit 8 tickets per mailing address

DOORS 6:30PM • SHOWTIME 7:30PM
The Vogel • Basie Center Campus • 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank


After studying piano privately for 12 years, Rick gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied piano, clarinet and orchestration. In March 2012 King Charles II (then Prince Charles) presented him with his Fellowship of the RCM. He was also made a Professor at the London College of Music.

As a much sought after session musician in the late sixties and early seventies, he played on more than 2,000 records, including such hits as Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken and David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Life on Mars. He joined Strawbs in March 1970 before being recruited by YES 17 months later – a group which went on to become the most successful progressive rock band in the world with seminal albums such as Fragile, Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.

In the Seventies, he also wrote and performed his own epic concept albums, which have become classics of the prog rock genre: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths & Legends of King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table.

His film scores include two for Ken Russell, (Lisztomania and Crimes of Passion), two for Harry Palmer films starring Michael Caine, (Bullet to Beijing and Midnight in St Petersburg), and the award-winning White Rock.

Rick has also carved out quite a television career, appearing on every single episode of the Grumpy Old Men series and on Countdown just under 100 times, as well as numerous other appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You and Watchdog.

Rick still finds time each year to perform concerts around the world, which can range from his extremely popular one-man show to extravaganzas with band, symphony orchestras and choirs.

Both as a solo artist and with YES, he has sold more than 50,000,000 albums, and in January 2017, he made UK chart history when his album Piano Portraits became the first solo piano album to enter the Top 10 on release – a feat he repeated in 2018 with the follow-up, Piano Odyssey. One of the highlights of his career, however, came when the late Queen Elizabeth II made him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music in June 2021.

Both Rick and his wife Rachel have been patrons of Saving Strays since September 2021. They share their home with two much-loved dogs, Manukso, who along with Garo (sadly missed after passing over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year), they adopted after rescue from a killing station in Bosnia, and Puff from the dog meat trade in China.

Presented by Count Basie Center for the Arts


Please note: At the direction of the CDC or local health authorities, the Count Basie Center may at any time institute policies pertaining to COVID-19 transmission, including but not limited to mask requirements. Certain artists and / or touring productions may also require patrons to be masked and / or present proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Masks are not required to attend performances at Count Basie Center venues, though we welcome their use and respect all patrons who choose to continue doing so.

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