Local Talent: Korey Riker

The 36-year-old Passyunk Square resident has played with The Roots, Erykah Badu and Snoop Dogg. Now, he's headed to the Kimmel with some new EDM-inspired tunes.

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

His instruments: He’s known for his badass tenor saxophone skills. He also plays flute, guitar, clarinet, and the EWI, short for “electronic wind instrument.”

Coolest gigs: Riker has played with Queen Latifah, John Legend, the Roots, Melody Gardot, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg … the list goes on.

Least-cool gig: He spent two and a half years performing for Carnival Cruise Line.

Most inspirational album: Chick Corea’s Three Quartets, which introduced him to the late saxophone great Michael Brecker. “My life was changed forever,” he says.

Why he stuck with Philly: “I fell in love with Philly immediately upon moving here in 2004. The local musicians here are distinct. There is a lot of opportunity to do your homework, develop a sound and learn from others.”

Where to check him out: The Kimmel on June 10th, when he’ll perform a world premiere of EDM-inspired jazz tunes that he wrote as a 2015-’16 Kimmel Center Jazz Resident. And mark your calendar for his August 26th show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Published as “Local Talent: Korey Riker” in the June 2016 issue Philadelphia magazine.