Pianist Ric’key Pageot: Honoring Tradition While Moving Forward

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On this episode of ‘The Conduit,’ host Dan Ubick sits down with Ric’key Pageot to discuss the musician’s upbringing in Montreal among a family of musicians.

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Location and geography hugely impact a child’s development, from the friends they make to the schools they attend. While it’s not always recognized as such, Montreal is a uniquely vibrant city with exceptionally high rates of integration that differentiate it from cosmopolitan areas like New York or Los Angeles, both diverse cities that contend with significant levels of segregation.

Today, accomplished L.A.-based musician Ric’key Pageot joins us to discuss his unusual upbringing in Montreal among a family of talented musicians. “Montreal is so integrated; you’re surrounded by every culture,” Ric’key says. “Montreal is really underrated for that.”

Welcome to The Conduit, a podcast featuring candid conversations with professional musicians who give listeners the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today.

In today’s episode, host and LA-based DJ, producer, and musician Dan Ubick (aka Constantine “Connie” Price) sits down with Ric’key Pageot to discuss the musician’s journey from “classical nerd” to pop-star-supporting touring artist. “Anything outside of classical, I really wouldn’t [listen to],” says Ric’key of his years at McGill University in Montreal. “I don’t think I really listened to anything other than hip-hop, R&B, and stuff like that. It’s only when I grew older [that] I started appreciating other types of music.”

Today, Ric’key is a Steinway Artist, a title granted to only the very best pianists. In the past, he’s played piano and accordion on tour for the likes of Diana Ross, Madonna, and Cher.

During today’s episode, Ric’key shares details about his upbringing in Montreal, how it exposed him to a multitude of ideas and cultures, and why he chose to attend McGill University: “It was a great school. I loved it. And it’s kind of sad today. I don’t even think they have the same program anymore. They lost government funding. And it’s really unfortunate that music is not a priority anymore. The arts are not a priority anymore in schools.” Ric’key also describes what it was like growing up in a family full of talented musicians—and the concerts they held—before reflecting on his life as a performer.

“I’m all about tradition and moving tradition forward,” says Ric’key, describing Parlor Social, the band he formed with his wife, Dessy Di Lauro. “That’s how Parlor Social came about. It was about paying homage to the Harlem Renaissance culture and moving it forward.” Ric’key’s life as a musician has led him down incredible paths; in today’s show, he reflects on his journey, the many lessons learned, and the amazing people he’s met along the way.