Dick Grove, an influential jazz pianist, composer and arranger who founded the Dick Grove School of Music, died Dec. 26 of a heart attack in Laughlin, Nev. He was 71.
Grove, who in recent years operated the Las Vegas-based correspondence program School Without Walls, established his first school in 1973 to teach people how to make music and also make a living as musicians.
The Dick Grove School of Music grew to be one of the area’s leading trade school for instrumentalists and singers who wanted to work in Hollywood studios and jazz clubs.
At its peak, the school had about 450 students, including Michael Jackson, Linda Ronstadt and Barry Manilow. Among the teachers were Henry Mancini, Bill Conti, Joyce Collins and Lalo Schifrin.
The Los Angeles Jazz Society awarded Grove its jazz educator award in 1988. The school went bankrupt in 1993.
Born Richard Dean Grove in Lakeville, Ind., Grove studied music at the U. of Denver and played and taught piano for a few years in the Denver area. He moved to Los Angeles in 1954 and initially taught piano, arranging and harmony at the Westlake School of Music.
He went on to play with Alvino Rey’s band and various studio bands, and arranged for Buddy Rich, “The King Family Show” and other television pro-grams.
He also wrote scores for Paul Horn and Nancy Wilson, and in the 1960s had his own big band. One of his key recordings was “Little Bird Suite” in 1963.
Grove is survived by his wife, Dolores, two daughters and a son.