Burning the Torch
Story by Lauren Sable Freiman | Dec 28, 2015
Musical artist and entrepreneur Quinten Rice fulfills big dreams and looks to a promising future.
Sometimes Quinten Rice manages to catch a few hours of sleep. Although he says he could probably benefit from more shut eye, he is willing to sacrifice restful nights to live out his passion for music and entertainment.
Rice plays bass for The Cherry Pistols, an 80s pop and rock cover band for which he also does some backup vocals. And, he plays with Murphy’s Ford, an original pop country band with southern rock and blues influences. Sometimes, between the two bands, he plays four to five shows each week.
“We’ve been fortunate with The Cherry Pistols to be sought after,” Rice says. “We have a great product, a great sound and we’ve taken hold in this area.”
Playing in two different bands with dramatically different styles allows Rice the unique opportunity to cover other artist’s music while also being able to create original music with a unique sound. Murphy’s Ford is currently working on tracks in Nashville and St. Louis for their first album.
“I enjoy learning other people’s music, but it’s nice to have an original band to play with where you’re building something from the ground up,” Rice says. “It’s a nice balance to have.”
While Rice rocks out on stage at night, often supported by his parents, Dan and Norma, in the audience, his days are equally full juggling several business ventures. He is the owner of the SPACE, a 3,500-squarefoot facility offering nine different “incubation spots” where artists and art can thrive and grow. Most of his customers are Jefferson City-based artists, but some are
students at Lincoln University. For Rice, it was important to help create opportunities for other artists where they might not otherwise exist.
“We have everything from a closet for people to keep gear in to a large room for people that do a lot of rehearsals,” Rice says. “It’s a spot for people to work so you’re not trying to practice in someone’s basement or garage.”
Rice has also partnered with Holly and Nathan Stitt to develop Avenue HQ, an events center that he is preparing to open in January 2016 on Capitol Avenue. When it opens, Avenue HQ will have 5,000 square feet of space for events. It will also provide artists with work space and gallery space. He hopes to attract artists of all mediums, including culinary arts, painting, sculpting and music. And, in a partnership with John Johnson, Rice is also working to open Qs on High, a restaurant at 911 E. High St.
“I have partners in the restaurant and the events center, but I’m the guy who gets the ball rolling to organize and facilitate them,” Rice says. “These were properties that were in need of rehab, and I wanted to be a positive catalyst. They had both been abandoned for some time.”
To round out his already packed schedule, Rice, who earned a degree in hospitality management at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has also spent the past 12 years working as a server, bartender and host at Madison’s Cafe.
“The owner, Rob Agee, is a great guy to work for,” Rice says. “They’ve been very willing to help me out and they understand that if I’m tired, I was out playing a show until 3 a.m.”
Although he credits his brother, Jarret, for encouraging him to pick up a guitar as a kid, Rice says he is thankful to teachers and others along the way who helped foster his passion for music. Because of opportunities that others helped create for him, Rice was marching with the high school marching band as a sixth grader and working at a radio station at age 15, and he has decided to devote his time to paying it forward to help other budding artists in the area.
“I love Jefferson City, but there are some aspects that I think need to be improved,” he says. “A lot of artists don’t have a good chance for exposure, and I want to create good platforms for them to be exposed and recognized for their hard work. That is the common theme across my ventures.”
As he looks toward a future full of growth, Rice is humbled by the help, the open doors and the encouragement he has found along the way.
“I need to give credit to the man upstairs,” Rice says. “Some things were just amazing that came together for me with great people and great opportunities laid in front of me.”