David “Deejay” Rich is a musician, teacher, and student of philosophy at San Diego State University. He currently performs as a multi-genre guitarist ranging from jazz, blues, pop, RnB/soul, rock, experimental, and is involved in many projects such as local indie-rock band Sweet Myths and as support for local jazz singer Anaïs Lund. When he is not performing, he teaches music with an emphasis on reaching socioeconomic areas that cannot afford music classes, namely at non-profit A Reason To Survive.
Deejay has been involved with music most of his life, since his teenage years he has been playing guitar constantly looking to evolve as a musician and expand his genre reach. Dominantly a blues-influenced guitarist, he blends elements of jazz, funk, neo-soul, and a variety of other influences to create a hybrid style of playing. After studying philosophy in college, he has been largely influenced by ideas from Western philosophy (namely Aristotle and Jean-Paul Sartre) to Eastern philosophy (namely Buddhism) to bring to light the concepts of freedom, expression, identity, and experience in his musicianship and teaching.
I am deeply and humbly honored to be a recipient of the William Male Grant. This year alone I have performed over 100 times, and that frequency comes with the physical demands to be a well honed musician as well as material demands to have reliable gear. Oftentimes I would have gear fail on me because that is all I could afford. Since receiving the William Male Grant, I am so thankful to say that I have professional gear for the first time in my life, I have gone on to perform for a national touring act in Hollywood, and most of all I have been able to study guitar from Berklee School of Music professor Tomo Fujita. Because of the William Male Grant, I have been able to blossom as a musician and progress in my musical endeavors at an exponential level; each step further in my musical future is indebted to the William Male foundation for their belief and support for me.