Jazz pianist/composer emphasizing melodic and healing aspects of performance.
Pianist/composer Richard Shulman has been exploring inspiration through Jazz in his
recordings, performances and compositions since 1983. The intent behind his music is
healing, connection, and the expression of beauty.
Shulman has recorded 24 of his own albums, most of which are available on the label,
RichHeart Music. Trained in the classical and jazz fields, he has developed a heartfelt
language in these genres while splitting his output between jazz and music for meditation,
healing and inspiration.
Shulman has performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Art Park, the United
Nations, the Kool Jazz Festival, The Amenia Peace Festival and a wide variety of other
venues throughout North America and in Europe.
As a composer, Shulman has created over sixty five pieces for jazz groups as well as songs
and pieces for chamber ensembles, choir, and symphony orchestra. Commissions include a
piece for the Amherst Saxophone Quartet, and May Peace Prevail on Earth for singers,
symphony orchestra, three choirs, and jazz quartet, created for the World Peace Prayer
Born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, he began piano lessons at age seven. As a
teenager Richard played organ at various churches, was the music counselor at a summer
camp in Canada, and joined a rock band with future jazz recording artists Thom Rotella
and Bobby Previte. Shulman graduated from the University of Rochester with a double-
major Bachelor's degree in music (piano performance) and psychology while continuing to
perform with Previte in the jazz-fusion band Thermopylae.
While at Rochester, Shulman also attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music and
studied jazz improvisation with Chuck Mangione and Marian McPartland, orchestration with
Donald Hunsberger and arranging with the legendary Rayburn Wright. Shulman continued
his studies in jazz with Frank Foster while getting his Masters Degree in musical
composition at the State University of New York at Buffalo. During those years he played
onstage in concert with such jazz stalwarts as Thad Jones, Eddie Gomez, Pepper Adams,
Jerry Dodgion, Freddie Hubbard and Al Harewood, and recorded his first jazz album,
Local musicians he played with in Buffalo included Bilal Abdullah, Sabu Adeyola, Abdul
Rachmann Kadir, Charlie Fadale, Rick Fadale, Greg Millar, Jim Kurzdorfer, James Clark,
Peter Piccirilli, Joel Perry, Dan Mink, Daryl Washington, Junnieh Booth, Gus Broncato, Ron
Mendola, Mike Migliore, Gerry Eastman, Lenny Reforgiato, Dave Alderson, and Richard
After moving to New York City, Shulman played in the studio as a session musician with
the great jazz rhythm section of Ron Carter and Grady Tate; performed with groups such
as The Richard Reiter Swing Band, Providence and Crossing Point; and recorded and
performed with the acts Mr. Spats (Steve Evans, June Bisantz, Steve Swallow and Bob Moses)
and Bobby Previte (with Dave Hofstra, Tom Varner and Lenny Pickett). The Richard Shulman
Group, a jazz quartet, played regularly in the New York area and recorded the albums A
Simple Gift and Open Spaces, and Richard also released the solo jazz piano album Solo
Flight. Members of the Richard Shulman Group in NYC included, saxophone players Tim
Moran, Dave Binney, and Marty Fogel, Bassists Dean Johnson, Greg Cohen, Lindsey Horner,
Paul Avgerinos, Kevin McCarthy and Sue Williams, and drummers Bobby Previte, Brian
Doherty and John Clay.
An injury in 1977 led Shulman to begin exploring healing aspects of music, and his
studies in healing and meditation have informed his music ever since.
While in NYC Shulman played in many venues including, Greene St., The Angry Squire, 55
Grand, The Village Gate, Visiones, West Boondock, The Bitter End, Hisae’s,
Cousins(Brooklyn), Arthur’s (Hoboken). with many additional musicians, including Luther
Rix, Marc Sganga, Charlie DesCarfino, Bill Evans (sax), Vinnie Bianchi, Walter Moorman,
Drori Mondlak, David Gross, Jack Dryden, Martin Aubert, Lynn Seaton, Dore DiQuatro, Rob
Bulkley, Jeff Van Nostrand, Warren Fioretti, Brad Gregory and the Vegas East Big Band,
Michael Gaeta, Aaron Heick, Jack Bashkow, Arthur Kell, Mikko Mikkola, Ratzo Harris, and
Singers he played for included Maxine Brown, Rosemary Loar, Miriam Raiken, Pat Tortoricci,
Elizabeth Hepburn, Pat Arena, Vickie Obermeyer, and Shanti & Valli Rajah.
In December 1989 Shulman moved to Woodstock NY, where he concentrated on recording
promoting and performing meditative music, including solo concert touring along the East
Coast of the US. In October 1998 he moved to Asheville NC, where he resumed his focus
on Jazz while continuing to work with meditative music.
From 1996 through 2005 Richard focused on the creation of the CD and DVD/video
Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled. This project follows the theme of Dreams of the
Heart coming true. The CD and DVD feature a 35- piece orchestra consisting of members
of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, a choir, soloists, and Shulman at the piano. The
concert and recording session were conducted by Robert Hart Baker.
Related albums recorded during this time include the Healing Touch CD First Rites and a
musical aid to introspection, Music to Walk the Labyrinth. The Camelot Reawakened CD
won a 2003 Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) Visionary Award, and the DVD was a
finalist in the 2006 awards. The DVD has also won an Award of Excellence and an
honorable mention in the 2007 Accolade Competition. Shulman followed the completion of
Camelot Reawakened with a theatrical musical based on a similar theme titled A Dream
of Camelot with performances produced in 2009, 2011 and 2012 in the Asheville area.
A concert in 2007 with bassist Mike Holstein and drummer Sonny Thornton led Shulman to
realize that this trio had the sympatico to become his regular group. 2009 brought the
release of Sky Jazz, the Richard Shulman Trio's first CD. A Youtube playlist of the trio is
In 2013 Shulman released a meditative ensemble album with the Pure Heart Ensemble
entitled Bliss of Being The album was nominated for a Zone Music Reporter award in the
“Best New Artist” category, tracked at #11 for two months on the ZMR chart and was #1 on
Music Direct’s “Soundscapes” twice and in their top 20 for over a year.
Since 1998 Shulman has been an active participant in the lively Asheville NC music scene,
playing at many venues including the Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, Lex 18 Restaurant and
Moonshine Bar, the Biltmore Estate, White Horse Black Mountain, the Classic Wine Seller,
the Waynesville Arts Council, the Hendersonville Arts Council, Burntshirt Vineyards, and the
Grove Park Inn. He works with two big bands on a regular basis, the Asheville Jazz
Orchestra and Russ Wilson’s Nouveau Passe Jazz Orchestra and has performed with many
bands and musicians regionally including the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Michael Gamble’s
Rhythm Serenaders, bassists Eliot Wadopian, Zack Page, Daniel Iannucchi Bill Fauti, James
Simmons and Shannon Hoover, drummers Rick Dilling, Justin Watt, Byron Hedgepeth,
Michael W. Davis, Dave & Jeff Rudolph, trumpet players Rich Willey, Justin Ray (Michael
Buble), Woody Dotson, Andy Sorenson, Patrick Lopez, Ben Hovey, John Entzi, Charles
Parker, sax players Jacob Rodriguez (Michael Buble) Jim Anthony, Ray Spires, Joel Helfand,
and Frank Southecorvo, trombonists Rick Simmerly (assoc.prof. Milligan College TN),
Walton Davis, Dave Wilken, and Alan Greene, guitartists Hank Bones, Chris Morgan, and
Mark Guest, and vibraphonists, Paul Babley, and Jason DeCristofaro. Singers he has
worked with include Timothy O’Keefe (Remembering Frank Sinatra), Jesse Earl Junior (from
NYC), Heather Masterton, Wendy Jones, Paula Hanke, Sherman Hoover, Peggy Ratusz, and
Amy Rae Stupka.
Most recently Shulman has played “warm up” sets for Grammy winning saxophonist and
composer Paul Winter as Part of UNC-Asheville’s “Ecomusicology” conference and for
National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, Sheila Kay Adams as part of the concert
“Appalachian Holiday” with National Hammered Dulcimer 2003 Champion, Joshua Messick.
Shulman currently is an adjunct instructor of jazz piano at the University of North Carolina
– Asheville and also performs regionally at various churches, having held positions at the
Center for Spiritual Living–Asheville and Jubilee! Community Church.
Projects for 2015 include “Buried Diamond,” a new jazz trio album, “Snow Days,” a holiday
album, “Indigo Fantasy,” a large scale piece for studio orchestra commisioned by Russ
Wilson, “A Carolina Christmas,” a charity production to benefit hunger and help homeless
veterans in Western North Carolina, and the revision of a childrens musical written in 1990.
Richard Shulman currently lives in Asheville, NC and performs and records regionally and
For more information contact:
RichHeart Music, 419 Creekside Dr, Asheville, NC 28804
Phone: 828-658-9604 and 888-699-3682
e-mail: [email protected], rich[email protected]
Web site: http://www.richheartmusic.com
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because...
I get to express inspiration directly in a visceral way.
I was first exposed to jazz...
I first heard Miles' "Filles de Kilimanjaro" and Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" at a friend's
house in high school. As a classical piano player I was awed by this music but had no
context to understand it. When I arrived at college the kid across the hall (Bob Stein - now
an excellent piano player and arranger) was playing some cool music. I stuck my head in
his open door and asked "Is that jazz?" After he laughed, he said yes it's Oscar Peterson.
Thus began my jazz education....
I met [Dizzy Gillespie]... Diz in the Chicago O'Hare airport, also, another time Stevie
The best show I ever attended was... Paul Winter Consort 1970 Ingle Auditorium, Eastman
School of Music.
The first jazz record I bought was...
In A Silent Way - Miles Davis
My advice to new listeners...
Follow your heart.
Or whatever else you have in mind.
Let Creativity Soar!