Trio biographies

Trio CDs

Tim Richards (piano)

Tim's first encounter with a piano was at the age of 8 in a dentist's waiting room. After classical piano lessons he began to teach himself jazz and blues from the age of 14, when he saw Thelonious Monk on TV.

From 1979 to 1999 Tim led the well-known modern jazz group Spirit Level, touring in almost every European country, releasing seven albums, and being nominated 'Best Small Group' in the 1986 British Jazz Awards.

In 1999 he expanded the group to a nine-piece with a completely new line-up featuring Tony Kofi, Denys Baptiste, GiladAtzmon, Dick Pearce and Roger Beaujolais, renaming it Great Spirit. The group toured the UK several times with some of Britain's best jazz musicians including Pete King, Ed Jones, Jason Yarde and Seb Rochford, most recently in 2006 with a PRS Foundation New Music Award. The group's acclaimed second CD 'Epistrophy' is still available on the 33 Records label.

"Jazz supergroup whose passion proves inspirational... Not a dull moment from beginning to end."

"Richards' arrangements are terrific, and the choice of material is just as good... A landmark achievement in a long career."
John Fordham - THE GUARDIAN

As well as developing ideas in the larger instrumental setting of Great Spirit, Tim was commissioned to write a 25-minute suite for the Gloucester Youth Jazz Orchestra, which he conducted at the 2009 Cheltenham International Jazz Festival. He has also composed music for contemporary classical ensembles and recently gained a Masters Degree in Composition at London's Trinity College of Music.

Tim also enjoys playing blues and has toured and recorded with many well-known blues artists including Otis Grand, Dana Gillespie, Earl Green, US guitarists Joe Louis Walker and Larry Gamer, harmonica legend Mojo Buford, and Chicago vocalist Deitra Farr.

Tim is a dedicated jazz educator and the author of several acclaimed books on blues and jazz piano, published by Schott Music. He currently teaches jazz piano classes at London's Goldsmiths and Morley Colleges, at The City Lit, and for the ABRSM, for whom he is a jazz examiner. He also gives workshops in the UK and abroad, and is course director for the Premises Studios Jazz Piano Summer School.

"Tim Richards plays bluesy jazz piano with a fiercely contemporary edge and his compositions are lushly melodic."

Longer biography

Dominic Howles (double bass)

Dominic was born in the West Country and started playing bass guitar at the age of 15, after hearing a Stranglers hit called Peaches. He later changed to double bass and was soon doing jazz gigs in the Bristol and Bath area. He first came to prominence with the Tommy Chase quartet in 1990, with whom he toured extensively, made several radio and TV appearances, and played at jazz festivals nationwide.

In 1991 Dominic received a full scholarship for the postgraduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music. After completing that course, he has been busy playing with many musicians in Britain and abroad including Stacey Kent, Anita Wardell, Christine Tobin, Stan Sultzmann, Alan Skidmore, Tim Whitehead, Nick Brignola, Art Themen, Don Weller, Clark Tracey, Gary Smulyan and many others.

Dominic has played in the Tim Richards Trio since 1998.

Jeff Lardner (drums)

Ccurrently working with Van Morisson, Jeff is one of Britain’s busiest drummers and has played and toured with some of the world’s foremost musicians and singers, including Kylie Minogue, Tony Hadley, The Three Degrees, The Drifters, Charlie Byrd, Spike Robinson, Don Lusher, Des O’Conner and Helen Shapiro, with whom he has recorded several albums and TV shows.  

He is also a consummate big band drummer and has been featured with The BBC Big Band, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Back To Basie, Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, and even the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.