Born in Pittsburgh, home to jazz greats Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Billy
Strayhorn, and Ahmad Jamal, Richard has strong territorial jazz roots.
He was first introduced to the piano at the age of five, by his father, a
gospel pianist in the church. Since then, he has cultivated a rich and
pedigreed musical background, being schooled by some of the most
legendary jazz musicians, studying at the most esteemed institutions
of music, and embracing life to the fullest.
After graduating from the Berklee School of Music in just two years,
Richard entered the Boston Conservatory, where he earned a Masters
degree in Jazz Pedagogy. He then went on to receive an Artist
Performance Diploma at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
Performance at New England Conservatory, under the direction of
influential Ron Carter.
That same year, Richard was invited to become a member of Wynton
Marsalis' Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which he did
from 2000-2003. He also played as part of the Russell Malone Quartet
and Irvin Mayfield's Quintet. After completing his tenure with those
groups Richard started the “Reach Afar” program for young people
between the ages of 7-17, educating them about elements of jazz in
Richard has traveled extensively, sharing the gift of jazz to audiences
around the world—both as a representative of the United States
through the U.S. State Department, and accompanying jazz icons such
as Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy, Herbie Hancock, and Arturo Sandoval.
Richard’s latest CD project, is entitled “Here I am”. This project is due
to be released in November of 2013. While his main influences are
Ahmad Jamal, James P. Johnson, Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole
Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner, Richard has most recently been
taking inspiration from popular Broadway musicals (“West Side Story,
Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady”, etc.) and infusing it with his own
unique Jazz twist. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for more of this
young lion’s powerful, swinging sound!