Ritt performing on the Main Stage @ the 35th Annual Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, July 2000,
between Freddie Hubbard and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones.
Got to hang & play with cats from Finland, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Georgia (the one over there), Orlando (the one over here) & Woodland Hills. Besides playin', the highlight of the week over there was hangin' with the guys from Buena Vista Social Club, who were headlining the festival. I got the gig by playing a Christmas gig at Borders in Pasadena. I ended a tune with a Picardy Third (ending a minor tune with a major third), & this guy next to me sez, "Y'know, in ancient times that was considered sacrilege." I go, "Whoa, Mr. Musicologist over here." He sez, "My wife's a singer, she's over there gettin' coffee, you should have her come up & sing with you." So she does, & it turns out he's one of the promoters of the festival. Kismet, baby.

Click here for more Pori photos.

©Craig Schwartz
Ritt as Officer Bell in the world premeire production of "The People vs. Mona" at the Pasadena Playhouse, Spring 2000.
This was a courtroom musical dramedy
co-written by Jim Wann, a co-creator of "Pump Boys & Dinettes." (In fact I did "Pump Boys" with Jim in L.A. in '86.) Mona's accused of killing her heinous husband, a record producer, by hitting him over the head with a guitar. Bell's one of the witnesses testifying at the trial. His biggest thrill in life: Portraying Curley in the local theatre production of "Oklahoma." (Think booming bass/baritone voice. Every note reaches the rafters. The guy's a ham. It was a stretch, but I managed.) In the end, it turns out I'm the murderer. When I'd confess, the crowd would erupt in applause & I'd throw kisses to the balcony. Now that's my kind of gig. Click here for more Mona photos.

Click here for more groovy gigs from Ritt's sordid past... er, I mean illustrious career.

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