Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Alden Memorial, 210
Phone: +1-508-831-5794
Fax: +1-508-831-6621

Richard Falco

Richard Falco joined the music faculty of WPI in 1979, where he holds the position of director of Jazz Studies. The WPI Stage Band and Jazz Ensemble embrace their role as international jazz ambassadors. Under Professor Falco’s direction, they have performed in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Austria, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Canada, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and the United States.

Professor Falco has been interviewed by "A Tout Jazz" for National Public Radio of France and has been invited to lecture and perform at several music schools while touring abroad. He was the cofounder and artistic director of the Jazz Worcester Music Festival and a past president of the Jazz Worcester Society. He holds the position of jazz historian and is a board member for the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (MAJE) and a member of the College of Voters for the New England Jazz Alliance (NEJA).

An active teacher and performer, Professor Falco is a member of the College of Voters for the New England Jazz Alliance (NEJA). He has received several awards, including the Henry "Boots" Mussulli Jazz Educator of the Year Award and the Jazz at Sunset Festival Award for “consistently creative jazz performances.” In 2006, Falco became the 12th recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Jazz Education.

With a keen interest in community outreach, Falco has formed a collaboration with the Worcester Public Schools and Mechanics Hall Association and serves as the music director and narrator for "Conversations in Jazz: Brown Bags for Kids," an annual production of Mechanics Hall Association. This program reaches 2,000 school children in grades 3 through 6. A frequent guest at the high school level, Falco remains a popular festival adjudicator, clinician, and music lecturer and presents in conferences on topics such as jazz guitar, big band directing techniques, and jazz improvisation.

Utilizing the unique technological skills found in WPI students, Falco founded and directs the Jazz History Database, a collaboration between MAJE and WPI, where students share his passion for the collection and preservation of jazz historical data. He has presented his distinctive approach to preservation at international conferences including IAJE, JEN, and NEJA. During his time at WPI, Falco has produced and presented more than 100 exciting programs of internationally acclaimed jazz artists on the WPI campus for clinics, workshops, and concerts, including such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, Clark Terry, Sun Ra, Cyrus Chestnut, Marcus Roberts, Gary Burton, and Pat Metheny.

Research Interests

  • Jazz History and Preservation


  • Jazz Education Certificate, Berklee College of Music
  • BA, University of Massachusetts
  • MA, Clark University

Professional Highlights

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, IAJE
  • Jazz at Sunset Award
  • Henry "Boots" Mussulli Jazz Educator of the Year
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