Richard Ball is a multi-instrumentalist from Colorado. He plays with the groups "Walking Eagle", "Before the Rain" and "Concept", (all CD-Baby artists) as well as a being a solo artist. Richard uses looping technology, both live and in recordings, to play multiple layers of different instruments, and become a one-man-band. Richard specializes in woodwind instruments, including a variety of world flutes, saxophones and modern flutes. He also plays varied instruments such as the didgeridoo, the sitar, the morin-huur, electric and acoustic bass, and exotic percussion. He is a frequent improvisor, who can create spontaneous compositions using multiple instruments using only a looping pedal.
Richard's roots are in jazz, where he prided himself of being a be-bop saxophonist for many years, until discovering John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and the likes, and branching into the world of free-jazz. "Concept" is a free-improv jazz duo featuring Richard and guitarist Paul Mimlitsch.
In the early 1990s, Richard traveled the world, collecting instruments and taking lessons. He studied rubab in Uzbekistan, throat-singing in Tuva and balalaika in Moscow. Upon returning home from the Soviet Union, he picked up a Native American flute at souvenir store, and this began his love affair with the flutes of the world. He has since studied the East Indian Bansuri, the Japanese Shakuhachi, the Hopi flute, Anasazi flute, South American Pan Flutes and Quenas, Irish and Scottish flutes and whistles, Chinese Xaio and others.
In the mid 1990's Richard started "Before the Rain," a band best described as Aggressive World-Beat Jazz, which combined free jazz sounds with world instruments, rhythms and scales. Other members of this ensemble are guitarist Dick O'Connell, percussionist Dugg Spalding and pianist Tyson Bennett.
Recently band members Richard, Dick and Dugg started a new ensemble "Walking Eagle" which is a calmer version of the larger band. Using fewer electronics and more improvisation, "Walking Eagle" further explores the relationship between Western jazz and world music.