Photographer: Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

Photographer: Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

Like jazz, but not. Rik Wright is an award-winning guitarist known for his genre-bending performances - worldbeat one minute, rock the next, a touch of jam band and back to the core of jazz. Blending forward thinking arrangements with a solid groove that listeners can tap their toe to, his Fundamental Forces quartet has an undeniable allure that has propelled them all the way to the top of the jazz radio charts.

Wright has taken his love and passion for the guitar to just about every corner of the Pacific Northwest, performing at Bumbershoot, Northwest Folklife, Bite of Seattle, and enumerable other community and arts festivals throughout the region. He has placed four albums in the Top 10 of both the Roots Music and CMJ radio charts, including a #1 spot on the CMJ Jazz chart.

Rik has been honored with numerous awards including both an Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award for “Best Alternative Jazz Group”, and as one of Seattle Weekly's "Best of Seattle" jazz performers. His efforts have been generously supported by 4Culture, the Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack program, and the Jack Straw Foundation. Rik is listed in both the Arts Northwest on Tour and the King County Touring Arts rosters, which are juried directories of the Pacific Northwest’s very best performing artists.

PRESS Quotes

Photographer: Alex Strazzanti

Photographer: Alex Strazzanti

“Wright’s music is innovative, paving a path of his own making through the jazz kaleidoscope. Eclectic sounding with a flair for the exotic, Fundamental Forces is artistically imaginative and ventures into synthesizing a breed of blues, bebop, and rock that expands the public’s perception of jazz.” –

“What’s so cool about Rik’s music and composition is that it’s really hard to distinguish between his rock & jazz influences and the result is some of the most fluid work you’ll ever hear in either arena.” – Contemporary Fusion

“Wright’s compositions retain the hot and soulful feel of hard bop, while sometimes drawing on elements of third stream and/or fusion. Almost a fused tradition with unique and unexplored realms of jazz; keeping one foot in tradition, while the other foot is stepping into the future.” – Jazz Sensibilities

“The sweet sound of a walk through life’s landscapes, seascapes and dreamscapes… exquisite displays of precise melody, lush harmony and lockstep rhythm.” – Jazz Times

“Wright can fool you into thinking worldbeat one minute, rock the next, a touch of new age and back to the core of jazz… Nicely done.” – Midwest Record Review

"There were times when I forgot that I was listening to a jazz album as there were nods to a number of electronic/psychedelic bands. I have found that I listen to this album as often as I can, so that I can just free up my mind, drift off into my imagination and let my mind wander." - FloRadio UK

“A wake-up call to anyone who thinks Seattle music is all about post-grunge punk or gloomy singer/songwriters, or who thinks nothing new or interesting is going on in jazz.” – Tone and Groove

"Wright has what takes years for most composers to understand – finesse, subtly unfolding a melody and the purity of the approach." – The Jazz Word

“If you haven’t checked out his work yet, you have some catch-up ball to play.” – Jazz Now

“Here we have a rare intersection of very accessible and very original jazz. Melodic, a bit funky, often beautiful.” – KFJC 89.7 FM

“Rik Wright takes classic jazz and heaps on piles of influences from across the musical spectrum, helping to perk up the ears of those tired of the same old swing.” – The Oregonian


"Music is a Mean Mistress: Rik Wright on Performance and Life"
– Modern Jazz Today, April 2016

“Catching up with Rik Wright and Fundamental Forces”
– Earshot Jazz, July 2015

“Take Five with Rik Wright”
– All About Jazz, October 2014