Playing Music Professionally since 1981
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Randall Richards has been playing piano and guitar professionally for over 25 years, and started learning the piano when he was five. After taking a break from traditional piano lessons at 10, Randy started playing piano in his own style at age 12, which led to playing professionally when he was 20 years old living and working in Austria.
Says Richards,"When I play CoffeeHouses, or venues such as a listening room I do a mix of originals (a variety of humorous, folk, and uplifting songs) and covers such as Mr. Jones from the Counting Crows, artists such as Tom Petty, and Jimmy Buffet, John Prine, and lesser known covers and songs that I've picked up over the years from my travels from Newfoundland to Washington State. I do about 70% guitar, 30% Piano, vocals, instrumentals, and play the Native American flute as well as, the zampona accompanied by piano or guitar. I like to have a percussionist with whom I can improvise, and I enjoy collaborating in the world music genre." He adds, "People seem to enjoy my vocals these days. I've had some training and voice coaching." His Native American Flute music is relaxing and calming, and he loves improvising with drummers.
Richards has played professionally throughout the Western US, Northern New England and the Europe. He is the founder of the Leavenworth Community Coffeehouse in Washington State, which he launched in 1994, and is still attracting audiences and performers from throughout the Pacific Northwest and the U.S.
In 2004 he started the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse which continues to gain popularity with musicians and audiences alike and provides a listening room venue for amateurs and professionals in central New Hampshire. The Sunapee Coffeehouse is the winner of the New Hampshire Magazine's Best of 2005 Open Mics.
He writes music on the piano, guitar and Native American flute and Zampona as well as synthesizer. While he has laid down a number of tracks both instrumentals and folk, he's not done a recording quite yet. His piano style has been compared to that of George Winston. He'll often makes up melodies while in the middle of a performance.
Three Performance Types:
Options for events or venues:
1) World Music
One of Randall's favorite performance styles is world instrumental music- He follows a drum beat set by two or three accompanying drummers, then plays the Native American Flute, Zampona, Grand Piano or Synth. Percussion is the driving force, with his other instuments following, to create a sense of presence and energy for the audience.
Mandala was formed to this end, and although the members have changed, the concept continues. Various drummers and musicians and vocalists accompany Randy at CoffeeHouses and concerts, see below.
2) Soloist on Grand Piano
Randall's first instrument is the piano and what he always comes back to in the end. He can play a range from classical, to jazz to pop, ragtime and old time tunes. Mostly he prefers original improv in the style of George Winston. In 1984, when Randy was performing at Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier, someone from the the audience told him he sounded like Mr. Winston. Randy, having not heard of him, replied, "Who's that?".
3) Singer/Songwriter: Original Folk
Randall won a leadership award while leading programs for Outward Bound Professional, and used the cash to purchase a Taylor gutar, which he considers "at least half of his act." His orginals carry a message of peace, hope and love, a bit of traveling, and of course, humor. He has written about 40+ originals, His first few were written on the coast of France, and others in Washington State, Ecuador, Peru, and even New Hampshire. While working for Outward Bound he carried a small guitar on his backpack and shares a few ballads from his backcountry days.
While he plays mostly originals, his covers range from Tom Petty and John Prine, to Counting Crows and the Traveling Wilburys although he enjoys performing numbers from lesser known artists such as Kevin Jones/Three Track Mind of Seattle, Emile Clothier, Dana Lyons, and others.
4) An Evening of Variety: Piano, Guitar, Native American Flute and Zampona:
Doing a variety show is what works best. Randall has been performing in various venues for years. Depending upon the venue, Randall will do a variety of Piano, Guitar, Folk, Adult Contemporary, Jazz and World Music, instrumentals and with vocals.
Collaboration with Chimu Inka:
Randall has plans to collaborate with Guillermo Seminario, Agusto Taype & Mario Montalvo, from Peru for a few concerts in the New Hampshire & Vermont area in the USA and in New Zealand. The three are gifted musicians steeped in Peruvian Folklore Music. They play on a daily basis in Cusco Peru. Check out their performance and educational programs sponsored by Mountain Spirit Institute at their site.
Music Therapy for Alzheimer's and Hospice
Randall has been practicing a unique form of music therapy for Alzheimer's patients in the Central New Hampshire, USA area. Using a portable synth and two sets of headphones, he plays sounds, tones, familiar and original songs for his "private audience" of one. This "closed loop" between Randy and the listener creates a bond of non-verbal communication in which the patient appears more at peace, appreciative and uplifted. He has had consistantly positive reviews because of these results from recreation directors. He has also been trained as a Hospice volunteer and has played at a number of bedsides for those passing on. Randy still practices these techinques at the V.A. Home in Tilton New Hampshire on a monthly basis, and is available by appointment.
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Comments from Previous Engagements:
"We loved your music at our event."
Jill C., Wenatchee, Washington
"You love what you do and it shows."
Restaurant Owner, Levenworth, WA
"You've added a wonderful atmosphere to our lodge, thanks for being with us this season."
Tom, Owner of Alta Peruvian Lodge, Utah
" We were truly blessed to have found your talent at the last minute. We appreciate the
hard work you put into our event. Thanks for being a special part of it."
Steve and Patti, Hawthorne Woods, IL
"Excellent entertainment, you packed the place, people want to know when you're coming back!"
Steve, Owner of Village Decadence/Alley Café, Leavenworth, WA
"You did well, the music, the stage presence and the selection of songs all made the evening a success. The audience loved you."
Scott, Owner, Saddletree Café, Cashmere, WA
"When are you coming back?"
Jim, Founder, BookEnds Concert Series, Warner, NH
"Your music was just what I had in mind for the Festival.Thanks for playing."
Co-Coordinator, International Festival, Warner, NH
"You sounded pretty good tonight!"
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A Sample of Past Engagements
Hotel Dom- Saas Fe, Switzerland
Sheraton Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah
Hotel Lorensa, Zurs, Austria
Piano Pub, La Rochelle France
Rustler Lodge, Alta, Utah
Cliff Lodge, Snowbird, Utah
Club Med, Copper Mtn. Colorado
Club Atmosphere, Chamonix, France
Paradise Inn, Mt Rainier National Park
Horse Feathers, Freeport Maine & North Conway, NH
Poco Diablo Resort, Sedona, AZ
Bell Rock Inn, Sedona, AZ
Wenatchee Convention Center, Wenatchee Washington
Saddle Tree Inn, Cashmere WA
Wapato Resort, Chelan, Washington
Four Corners Restaurant , New London, NH
MainStreet BookEnds Concert Series, Warner, NH
Leavenworth Community Coffeehouse, Leavenworth, WA
Canoe Club, Hanover, NH
Sunapee Community Coffeehouse, Sunapee, NH
International Festival, Warner, NH
Other Projects & Collaborations
- Musician - Native American Flute on two of Kathy's albums
- - Keyboardist/Vocalist
- Music Coordinator for 2006 , Sunapee NH
- Chimu Inka - of Cusco Peru
- Terelle Wickham, Salt Lake City, Utah
Awards - None that I know of, but I'm patient.
Discography - None yet, There's lots of tracks on the hard drive though, not quite ready for release. Maybe the winter of 2011, if it snows a lot.
If you're interested in experiencing Randall's music or want more
details on booking information, please email R Richards, or use the contact info below:
12 Albany Road
Ponsonby, Auckland 1011
26 Fernwood Point South
Sunapee, NH 03782
603.763.2668 (Rings Worldwide)
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