Derek Rieth 1971-2014
Derek Rieth began his musical career focusing on Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian folkloric and popular drumming styles. His studies took him to Cuba, Brazil, New Orleans and New York. His teachers included Jorge Alabe, Boca “Rum” Bezerra, Regino Jiménez, Jesús Alfonso, Pello Gonzalez, Miguelito Bernal, Terecita Domé-Pérez, Michael Spiro, Scotty Wardinsky and Kpani Addy. In 1996, Derek, along with Brian Davis and Andrew Hartzell, co-founded the Lions of Batucada, a Brazilian-style percussion ensemble. Aside from his work with Pink Martini, Derek performed with Jujuba, GoGrinGoGo, and Free Beat Nation, a Marching Brass band in the style of Maracatu. In addition, he worked with Axe Dide, which presents music and dance traditions of the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Derek’s long struggle with bipolar disorder ended when he took his own life on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Derek was a beloved son, brother, friend and colleague whose beautiful heart and passion for music touched thousands of lives. He will be deeply missed. To honor his memory, Derek’s girlfriend Tadimdia Bridges created the Derek Rieth Foundation to provide musical instruments and music education to underprivileged young people. Donations to the Derek Rieth Foundation can be sent to:
Derek Rieth Foundation
PO Box 25086
Portland, OR 97298