Instructor shares lifelong love of jazz with liberal arts students
By Amy Robertson
Neil Ritchie says he doesn’t have “that many” music albums—only 3,000 CDs and 1,000 LPs or so.
The former CBC Radio producer, who teaches music history at SFU Continuing Studies, doesn’t consider himself a true collector—he buys only what speaks to him. Some of his former colleagues have collections five times as large.
Ritchie, whose primary loves are jazz and classical, began collecting music as a teen—while his friends listened to the Beatles, he was enchanted by Ella Fitzgerald.
After university, Ritchie found a job cataloguing records at the CBC—and it turned into a 33-year broadcasting career.
In many ways, he says, he likes teaching even more than broadcasting. In radio, he rarely connected with his audience. But in the classroom, he says, “you can watch them—you can see them listening and closing their eyes.”
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