Richard Nelson


Guitarist/composer Richard Nelson has performed widely in the U.S. and abroad at such locations as the Concord and Boston Globe Jazz Festivals, New Yorks Symphony Space and the South African Broadcasting Corporation Theater in Cape Town, South Africa, among many others.

His second album, Origin Story, a collection of original progressive-jazz compositions for quintet, was released in April, 2005.

A mainstay of the Boston-based Aardvark Jazz Orchestra for over a decade, Nelson’s playing can also be heard on eight CDs recorded with that ensemble.

Musicians with whom he has performed include Slide Hampton, Sheila Jordan and David Baker, among many others.

Active as both a jazz and concert music composer, Nelson has studied jazz composition in New York at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Albam.

His modern classical pieces have been performed by such groups as Speculum Musicae, ALEA III, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Nelson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Columbia University.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he is an associate professor at the University of Maine at Augusta where he teaches composition, theory and jazz improvisation.

Richard Nelson Returned in February 2005 from a six-month stay in Cape Town, South Africa. While in Cape Town, he taught at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and performed quite a bit. He presented Master Classes on free and progressive jazz at UCT and at the South African Jazz Educators Conference. In Cape Town, Nelson performed with numerous well-known South African musicians including guitarists Darryl Andrews and Alvin Dyers, bassist Basil Moses, and (transplanted American) saxophonist Mike Rossi, among many others, at locations such as the University of Cape Town, the Nassau Center, and The South African Broadcasting Corporation Theater. He performed in clubs including Loxley’s and the Green Dolphin, and he was a regular at the renowned Monday night jam at Swingers in Wetton.