Tim Richards
Performance CV

Festival appearances
· UK
Brecon 1987, 1990, 2001, 2007
Bath 1997
Bracknell 1980, 1981
Burnley Blues Festival 2002
Carlisle 1984
Colne Blues Festival 1999
Cheltenham 2000
Cleethorpes 2001, 2006
Farnham Blues Festival 1998
Kendal 1999
Lichfield 1994
London 1999
Manchester 2005
Newcastle 1984
Norwich 1999
Scarborough 2004
Southend 2005
Swanage 2000, 2004
Teignmouth 1999, 2005

· Austria
Vienna (ORF Radiokulkturhaus) 2000
(opposite Ralph Towner & Gary Peacock duo)

· Belgium
Antwerp (Middelheim) 1983
Brussels (Belga Jazz Festival) 1989
Eccaussines Blues Festival 2002
Gent 1989, 1990
Oopeye 1991
Peer Blues Festival 1988
(opposite John Lee Hooker)

· Croatia
Zagreb 1993

· Denmark
Odense Blues Festival 1998

· Ireland
Cork (Guinness Jazz Festival)
1988, 2006
(opposite Randy Weston, Kurt Elling)

· Italy
Bolzano 1996

· France
Angouleme 1985
Bordeaux 1990
(opposite McCoy Tyner Big Band)
Bourges 1984
Coutances 1991
Creil 1984
Dunkirk 1982
La Seyne 1990
Nevers 1988
Rennes 1983
Strasbourg 1992
(opposite The Joe Zawinul Syndicate)
Tourcoing 1992
(opposite Joe Henderson 4tet)
Vienne 1985
(opposite Horace Silver 5tet)

· Germany
Berlin (A Trane - Art of the Duo) 1998
Frankfurt (Palmengarten) 1993
Leverkusen 1986
Stuttgart 1988

· Holland
Dordrecht 1993
Groningen Blues Festival 1998
Rotterdam 1993

· Morocco
Rabat (Jazz aux Oudayas) 2000

· Turkey
Ankara (Jazz & Pop Days) 1989
Istanbul (Pera Jazz Days) 2005
Izmir 1996

· Other European
Canary Islands 1993
Malta 1995

As a Bandleader

SPIRIT LEVEL was formed in Bristol in 1979 with saxophonist Paul Dunmall, soon establishing itself as a major force in British jazz, playing original compositions in a driving modal style. In its twenty-year existence, the band toured in almost every European country (including Malta, Croatia, Turkey and the Canary Islands), released 7 albums and broadcast many times on BBC RADIO, RADIO FRANCE, WDR KÖLN and other foreign radio stations. Spirit Level's first two LPs 'Mice in the Wallet' and 'Proud Owners' were released on the Spotlite label in 1982 and 1984 and are now collector's items. In 1986 the band teamed up with US trumpeter Jack Walrath (ex-Mingus), touring the UK for Jazz Services and releasing the critically acclaimed album 'Killer Bunnies', which received a 4-star write-up in the USA magazine Downbeat.

In 1989 the band reformed with saxophonist Jerry Underwood, who was featured on the CDs
'New Year' (1990) and 'On the Level' (1994). Spirit Level went on to play major European festivals in double bills opposite artists such as Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner Big Band, Joe Henderson, Joe Zawinul Syndicate and Miroslav Vitous. In 1995 they were nominated "Best Small Group" in the British Jazz Awards.

Spirit Level - info and press reviews

Selected Spirit Level Performances:
Jan 1997 - London JAZZ CAFE
with Mark Lockheart (tenor sax) + BBC Radio 3 'Jazz Notes' recording
Mar 1996 - Turkey, IZMIR JAZZ FESTIVAL
(British Council)
Oct 1995 - German/Czech tour: 7 dates
with Jerry Underwood (tenor sax)
Apr/May 2005 - European tour: 16 dates
(Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
1982 - 1992 - about 15 French tours!

This nine-piece band was formed in 1999 to celebrate Spirit Level's 20th anniversary, featuring the four-horn front line of Denys Baptiste, Gilad Atzmon, Tony Kofi and Dick Pearce amongst an all-star line-up of some the most exciting jazz musicians working in London. Tim was commissioned by Yorkshire venue THE SHED to write an hour's music for the new band (made possible by a New Music Award from Yorkshire Arts). 'Suite for The Shed' was premiered in Autumn 1999 as part of a 13-date Arts Council-supported UK tour, released as a double CD on 33 records, 'Tim Richards' GREAT SPIRIT' (back-to-back with a 'Best of Spirit Level' compilation), and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 live from Warwick University Arts Centre.

Great Spirit - info and press reviews

Further national touring followed, including appearances at the BRECON, TEIGNMOUTH and CLEETHORPES jazz festivals, and London's PURCELL ROOM in March 2001, with a new line up including Pete King (alto/sop sax) and Ed Jones (tenor sax, bass clarinet).

In April 2005 the band undertook their third UK tour and released their second CD 'Epistrophy', featuring saxophonists Ed Jones and Jason Yarde, new guitarist Leon Stenning, and the award-winning drummer Seb Rochford. They've also appeared regularly at London's JAZZ CAFE and at jazz festivals such as SCARBOROUGH (2004), SOUTHEND (2005) and MANCHESTER (2005).

Epistrophy CD - info and press reviews

Selected Great Spirit Performances:
Aug 2007 - Brecon Jazz Festival
with Chris Biscoe, Roger Beaujolais, etc
Oct/Nov 2006- UK tour: 9 dates
with Jari Perkiomaki (including Cork JAZZ FESTIVAL)
(with funding from the PRS Foundation for New Music )
Apr 2005 - UK tour: 8 dates (including London JAZZ CAFE)
Feb 2004 - London JAZZ CAFE
with Jason Yarde, Ed Jones, Tony Kofi, etc
Sep 2001 - London JAZZ CAFE
with Seb Rochford (drums)
Aug 2001- Brecon JAZZ FESTIVAL
with Julian Siegal (tenor sax)
Mar 2001 - London PURCELL ROOM
with Peter King (alto sax)
Feb 2001 - UK tour: 8 dates
with Gilad Atzmon (with Arts Council funding)
Oct/Dec 1999 - UK tour: 13 dates
(with funding from the Arts Council of England, Yorkshire Arts, Jazz Services and the Musicians Union)

Based in Vienna, saxophonist Sigi Finkel was voted "Austrian Jazz Musician of the Year" for 2000. He has collaborated with Tim Richards since 1996 when they broadcast two DUO sessions for BBC RADIO THREE 'Impressions' and 'Kaleidoscope'. The duo subsequently recorded the CD
'Dervish Dances' for the Austrian Radio ORF label, toured extensively in Central Europe.

Sigi Finkel duo info and press reviews

Selected Sigi Finkel/Tim Richards DUO Performances:
Jan/Feb 2001 - Austrian tour: 8 dates
Jan 2000 - Vienna ORF Radiokulturhaus : Live radio broadcast (
opposite Ralph Towner/Gary Peacock duo)
Nov/Dec 1998 - German tour: 5 dates
Jan 1998 - Central European tour: 9 dates
(Austria, Czech & Slovak Republics, Germany)
Dec 1996 - Vienna, ORF Radio recording + CD release
Feb 1996 - BBC Radio 'Kaleidoscope' and 'Impressions' recordings

Tim and Sigi also co-led the electric quartet SOUNDSCAPE, with bassist Phil Scragg and drummer Marc Parnell. The band have toured the UK several times, appearing at the BATH Jazz Festival in 1997, and released their debut CD 'Shibop' in 1999. In April 2000, SOUNDSCAPE toured for the first time in Europe with dates in France, Switzerland and Germany, as well as at the CHELTENHAM International Jazz Festival. In 2001 they appeared with Moroccan traditional musicians at the Jazz aux Oudayas Festival in RABAT.

Soundscape info and press reviews

Selected Soundscape Performances:
Mar/April 2001 European tour ­ 4 dates
(Austria, Belgium, Germany)
Oct 2000 - Rabat, Morocco: JAZZ AUX OUDAYAS Festival
Apr 2000 - European tour: 13 dates
(UK, Germany. Switzerland, France) (including CHELTENHAM International Jazz Festival)
Apr/May 1999 - UK tour: 8 dates
May 1997 - UK tour: 8 dates
(including BATH International Jazz Festival)

The trio was formed in 1988 with Pete Kubryk Townsend (bass) and Kenrick Rowe (drums) as a vehicle for playing standards, blues and bebop, side-by-side with some original material. The group released their first CD
'The Other Side' in 1998 with the help of a National Lottery grant, enabling them to visit ten London secondary schools giving 'Introduction to Jazz' workshops.
With Dominic Howles (bass) and Andrea Trillo (drums), the trio completed a 12-date Scottish tour in September 2000, travelling all over the country and including a performance on the island of Orkney.

The Other Side CD - info and press reviews

A second CD was released in 2003, the highly acclaimed 'Twelve by Three', with Matt Home on drums. The band continues to perform frequently, playing at London's PIZZA EXPRESS Jazz Club (Dean Street) in May 2004 and at the ISTANBUL Pera Jazz Days festival (Turkey ) in 2005.

Twelve by Three CD - info and press reviews

Selected Tim Richards TRIO performances:
Nov 2006 - Cornish tour: 4 dates, 2 workshops
May 2004 - London PIZZA EXPRESS Dean St (opposite Martin Speake)
Jan 2004 - Istanbul, Turkey: PERA JAZZ DAYS Festival
Aug/Sep 2000 Scottish tour : 12 dates (including Orkney)
Oct 1998 - UK tour: 5 dates (with funding from Jazz Services)

As a sideman

Tim has extensive freelance experience on the British jazz circuit since the early 1980s with names such as Barbara Thompson, Andy Sheppard, Keith Tippett, Roger Beaujolais, Theo Travis, Claire Martin, Mornington Lockett, Mark Lockhart, Jim Mullen etc... US artists he has accompanied wth his trio include Ken Peplowski, Scott Hamilton, Ray Alexander and George Masso.

He has also been featured in the bands of award-winning British blues artistes Dana Gillespie, Otis Grand and Earl Green, and toured Europe with American guitarists Joe Louis Walker (1988) and Larry Garner (1997). Recent blues gigs have included performances with the 76 year-old ex-Muddy Waters harmonica legend Mojo Buford (Eccaussines Festival, Belgium 2002), Chicago blues singer Deitra Farr (UK tour 2004) and US soul singer Kym Mazelle (2005, also featuring Otis Grand and ex-James Brown saxman Pee-Wee Russell).

In addition to being an expert blues performer, Tim also enjoys playing funk (The KICKHORNS, GROOVEYARD, QUEEN BEE), Latin jazz (COUP d'ETATand other bands) and African music, performing with musicians from Nigeria and Ghana in the 8-piece band ASURI (2000-2004).



CDs and Soundfiles


Teaching CV
Publications, articles and commissions
Exploring Jazz Piano book
Improvising Blues Piano book