Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Richards, Trevor (Hamilton Edward)

Richards, Trevor (Hamilton Edward), drummer, bandleader, writer; b. Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England, 29 August 1945. His father, Ronald Sidney Richards (*Colyton, Devon, England 1908, 1983) and mother, Vera Joan Richards (nee Horn) (*Seaford, Sussex, England 1918, 1998) were both amateur musicians: father violinist, mother pianist (as was her mother). One brother, Charles Gerard Richards, (b. Bexhill-on-Sea 1947), who is an amateur guitarist.

Trevor had percussion as a subject at kindergarten 1949-50. Apart from much autodidactic activity from 1959 on, he took percussion and theory lessons first with the music teacher at the local Girl's Grammar School and later with local jazz and dance band drummers in the Bexhill-on-Sea/Hastings area (1961-3). After one year at the University of East Anglia (1964-5) he played around Europe with various bands, including his own trio. When he moved to New York he took informal tuition from Zutty Singleton (1966-8). After moving on to New Orleans he studied with Josiah 'Cie' Frazier and Alex Bigard - elder brother of Barney - (1967-8), with Freddie Kohlman (1967-8 & 75-82); later with Cozy Cole (1982)  and Ray Bauduc (1984-5). A member of the black local of the Musicians' Union, he performed with the surviving pioneers of this music: Punch Miller, George Lewis, Emile and Paul Barnes, "Cap'n" John Handy, Jim Robins on, Manuel Manetta and Willie, Percy and Earl Humphrey amongst many others; the Olympia, Young Tuxedo and Eureka Brass Bands; at Preservation Hall, the Mardi Gras Lounge (one of the last strip joints on Bourbon St. to employ live music), local dancehalls etc. Parallel to these activities he contributed oral history research and recorded material to the New Orleans Jazz Archives at Tulane University. In 1968 he returned to Europe and graduated at the University of Surrey with an Honors degree in linguistics and music theory. He formed the Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio in 1972, first with clarinetist Tommy Sancton of New Orleans, then Peter Muller and finally with John Defferary, together with the pianist Bob Barton. With this group he toured the world for ten years performing at festivals, concerts and school seminars, also on radio and TV programs and accompanying prominent jazz artists such as Albert Nicholas, Benny Waters, Louis Nelson, Alton Purnell, Champion Jack Dupree, Hal Singer, Freddie Kohlman and also former members of the Louis Armstrong All Stars (such as Barney Bigard, Joe Darensbourg and Trummy Young). Upon his return to New Orleans in 1982 he assumed co-leadership of the Original Camellia Jazz Band and subsequently played throughout S.E. Asia (1985-89) as the only band from New Orleans to be on permanent tour outside of the U.S. (with trumpeter Leroy Jones, Pud Brown and later Charlie Gabriel on reeds, and Quentin Batiste, Ed Frank or Ronnie Dupont on piano. The sensational opening of the New Orleans Restaurant in Singapore was closely followed by a twelve-month residency, a recording for Polydor and the highest commendation from the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C. He maintained an annual European trio tour with the Art Hodes Trio (1981-91), thereafter with Ralph Sutton (1992-2001). The band has undertaken many tours of the US, the Caribbean and Europe, and was contracted for a long residency at the Belgrade Hyatt (1990, with Pud Brown, pianist Bill Campbell & Tom Baker, trumpet, reeds and trombone). In 1997 he formed the Legends of the Swing Era for unique documentary recordings (both of music and oral history) and festival appearances, starring Doc Cheatham, Benny Waters, Franz Jackson, Jay McShann, Claude Williams, Lawrence Lucie, Truck Parham, Jack Lesberg, Anita O'Day and Laurel Watson with the younger musicians Don Vappie, Dan Barrett and Tom Baker. He is currently involved in an extended oral history project, covering all creative aspects of the era of jazz popularity (20s-50s). In the course of his career he has had close contact with and learned much from such leading figures in the history of jazz drumming as Paul Barbarin, Louis Bellson Cozy Cole, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Max Roach and George Wettling.

Since the Sixties Richards has also been involved in research, recording interviews for jazz archives, writing, teaching and working as a consultant for festivals, recordings and the media, musical agencies and hotels. His reputation as jazz historian has resulted in his writing many liner notes and magazine articles and compiling programs for radio. He has assisted with the editing of jazz literature for publication, notably for the late Danny Barker, and is working independently on his own jazz book. He has also organized and co-ordinated jazz festivals, and produced many recording sessions, besides tutoring in traditional jazz drumming. In 1993 the Mayor of N.O. awarded him a Certificate of Merit ("in recognition of his outstanding musical services to the City"). He assumed the position as chairman of the Old Jazz Union's Cultural Advisory Board in Germany in 2002 and has been the consultant for and endorser of a newly developed classic line of drums and sticks by a percussion manufacturer in Taiwan (WorldMax) [OR: an Asian percussion manufacturer].

Jazzfestival Balve Hohle (1974); On Tour U.S.A. (1974); Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio With Freddie Kohlman: Bierhaus Boogie (1976); Drum Face (1976); Jazz in der Burg (1979); The Smallest Bigband in the World (1979); Golden River City Jazz Festival (Compilation) (1981); Clive Wilson & Trevor Richards's The Original Camellia Jazz Band Of New Orleans: Clive Wilson Plays New Orleans Jazz (1982); The Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio Featuring Chris Barber: Femo Jazz (Compilation) (1982); Trevor Richards' Original Camellia Jazz Band In Asia (1986); Clive Wilson & Trevor Richards Present The Original Camellia Jazz Band Of New Orleans (1988); The Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio (1990), Am I Blue? (1994); The Trevor Richards New Orleans Band (1994); Clive Wilson & Trevor Richards's The Original Camellia Jazz Band Of New Orleans: That's My Home (1995); Reimer von Essen & Trevor Richards: The International Trio (with Ralph Sutton) (1995); Clive Wilson & Trevor Richards: The Original Camellia Jazz Band Of New Orleans: 25th Dresdner Dixieland Festival (Compilation) (1994); Bernd Lhotzky & Trevor Richards: Piano Duos (1995); Trevor Richards' Three Generations Of Jazz (1996); Trevor Richards' Legends Of The Swing Era: Volume I Stompin' At The Savoy! (w. Doc Cheatham, Benny Waters, Truck Parham) (1997), Volume II New York, Chicago and Kansas City-in New Orleans 1998) (with Jay McShann, Claude Williams, Franz Jackson, Truck Parham) (1998); City of the Blues (1999); Reimer von Essen & Trevor RichardsThe International Trio & Rene Franc (with Ralph Sutton): Live 1999! (1999), Easter Parade! (1999); 35 Years Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio (1999); Trevor Richards' Legends Of The Swing Era: Volume III (with Anita O'Day, Gerry Wiggins, Lawrence Lucie, Jack Lesberg) (2004); Reimer von Essen & Trevor Richards The International Trio & Olivier Fra nc (with Ralph Sutton): That's A Plenty! (2001); Reeds Write! (2002)
As sideperson:
(Harold) Dejan's Original Olympia Brass Band: New Orleans Street Parade (1968); Frank Naundorf's Band: Auf Wiedersehen (1968); Brian Towers: The Jazz Caverners (1968); Albert Nicholas - John Defferary Jazztet (1969); Mike Casimir's New Iberia Stompers: One Night with the New Iberia Stompers (1970); Mike Casimir's Paragon Brass Band: Recorded Live on the Streets of Rouen (1970); Louis Nelson with The Cotton City Jazzband: New Orleans Today, Vol. 5 (1972); Benny Waters And The Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio (1974); Peter Meyer's Jazz Lips: News (1974); Wallace Davernport With The Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio : Wallace Davenport in Germany (1975); Mike Casimir's Paragon Brass Band: Breda Jazz Festival (Compilation) (1976); Reimer von Essen: Festival Workshop At "Jazz In Der Burg" (1979); Camiel van Breedam's Fondy Bullet Riverside Band: Anniversary Breakdown (1980); Bill Greenow Trio: Featuring Stan Greig & Fred Hunt (1980); Art Hodes' International Trio: Blues to Save the Trees (1981); Mike Casimir's Paragon Brass Band (1982); Art Hodes Jazz Trio (1985); Art Hodes International Trio (1986); Art Hodes And His Blues Serenaders: The Music of Lovie Austin (1988); (Koen De Cauter's New Orleans Swing: A Little Corner of Paradise (1988-99); Jacques Gauthe's Creole Rice Yerba Buena Jazz Band Of New Orleans: Someday Sweetheart (1989); Featuring Nathalie Gauthe - The Jazz Baby (1989); Art Hodes' International Trio: In Schloss Kronberg (1991), Art Hodes's International Trio (1991); Reimer von Essen: European Jazz Association (1993); Freddy Schauwecker's The Jolly Jazz Orchestra: A Tribute to New Orleans (1993); Rod Mason: The Top "8" Jazz Gala Vol. 2 (1993); Reimer von Essen: The King Oliver Heritage Band (1995); Lionel Ferbos & Dennis Browne: Place of my Dreams (1998); Jutta Klauer's Variete Jazzband & Friends (2000)
Unissued recordings:
Mike Casimir's Paragon Brass Band; Approx. 30 mins tapes of unissued recordings in Frankfurt/M, Germany (1965), Approx. 20 mins tapes of unissued recordings in Hamburg, Germany (1966); Approx. 1 hr of unissued live recordings of Mike Casimir's New Iberia Stompers in Paris, France (1969); Trevor Richards New Orleans Band: approx. 15 mins studio rcdgs, unissued (1971), Approx. 2 hrs taped recordings of unissued Preservation Hall jam session in New Orleans (1971), Approx. 20 mins tapes of unissued recordings in Frankfurt/M, Germany (1971), Approx. 1.5 hrs tapes of unissued recordings in Ghent, Belgium (w. Louis Nelson) (1972); Approx. 45 mins of unissued recordings in Frankfurt/M, Germany (w. Sammy Rimington) (1971); Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio Featuring Louis Nelson: Approx. 2.5 hrs unissued recordings in Hamburg, Germany (w. Louis Nelson) (1973); Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio Featuring Alton Purnell: Approx. 2.5 hrs unissued recordings in Hamburg, G ermany (w. Alton Purnell) (1973); Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio: approx. 15 hrs of unissued live recordings at various venues in Germany (Frankfurt/M, Offenbach/M, Darmstadt, Berlin) (1974-79); Approx. 10 mins unissued studio recordings (Trio + Freddie Kohlman) (1976); Approx. 45 mins unissued studio recordings with Herb Hall (1981); Approx. 2.5 hrs unissued tapes of live recordings with Herb Hall (1981); Approx. 2.5 hrs of unissued recordings of The Trevor Richards N.O. Trio (w. John Defferary, Jon Marks) in Werne, Germany (1994); Approx. 1 hr of unissued studio recordings of The Trevor Richards N.O. Trio (w. Charlie Gabriel, Red Richards (1994); Approx. 30 mins unissued recordings with Al Casey, Bernd Lhotzky, Colin Dawson (1995); Approx. 60 mins unissued studio recordings with Dennis Browne, Jamie Wight, Mike Owen,           Lars Edegran, Neil Unterseher, Bernie Attridge) (1997); Approx. 60 mins unissued studio re cordings of The Trevor Richards N.O. Trio (w. Ralph Sutton, John Defferary) (1998);

Films and television broadcasts:
Musikladen, (NDR TV, Germany, 1974); Hobson's Choice (CBS Films, USA, 1983); Whicker's World (BBC TV, USA/GB, 1984); A series of music broadcasts for SBC TV (Singapore 1985-7); Ascona Festa New Orleans (WDR TV, Germany, 1988); Jazz Festival Ascona (Tessin TV, Switzerland, 1998); Two TV documentary films in preparation (Germany); many undocumentable radio and TV broadcasts throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

Welt am Sonntag, Germany (28 April, 1974), p 55
Footnote, London, Vol. 16, No. 5 (June/July, 1985), pp 4-10
Jazz Musik-Kritik , Wilhelm E. Liefland (pub: Dillmann, Germany, 1992), p 80
Bulletin du Hot Club de France, Vol. 3, Issue 460 (July, 1997), pp 1-3, 26-7
Who's Who of British Jazz, Cassell, London, 1997
Jazz: The Rough Guide, London, 2000
We Heard You Talkin', Geoff Coates, Malaga, Spain, 2002
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, New York, 2003
Mississippi Rag, Bloomington, MN: upcoming feature article, late 2003
Trevor Richards Discography, Gerard Bielderman (Holland), in preparation.
Liner Notes by Richards:
Barrelhouse Jazzband LP (Germany)
White Eagle Jazz Band w. Freddie Kohlman  (Germany)
Sam Lee & Friends (GHB Records)
Pam Parmijer/The Music of Richard M. Jones (Stomp Off Records)
Art Hodes & his Blues Serenaders/The Music of Lovie Austin (Pastels CD)
Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio: Am I Blue? NOJP CD-1
Trevor Richards New Orleans Band (Schmied & Partner Edition-4)
Trevor Richards' 3 Generations of Jazz (Schmied & Partner Edition-7)
The Legends of the Swing Era, Volume I (Schmied & Partner Edition-5)
The Legends of the Swing Era, Volume II (Schmied & Partner Edition-8)
Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio: City of the Blues (Jazzology Records)
Trevor Richards New Orleans Trio: Blame It On The Blues (NOJP CD-3)
Jutta Klauer's Variete Jazzband (ACO 10101)
Trevor Richards Classic Jazz Trio: "Reeds Write!" Volume 1 (NOJP CD-7)
Trevor Richards is co-producer and editor of "Telling the Truth in Terms of Beauty - The Jazz Photography of Herman Leonard", a book documenting the Legends of the Swing Era Volume II, including a CD of their music; to be published late 2003/early 2004.

In 1998 he was the recipient of a European media award as Drummer of the Year. His trio CD "City of the Blues" won the Hot Club de France Jazz Record of the Year Award 2000.

Contact information:
U.S. address:
4938 South Rocheblave St.
New Orleans, LA 70125
Tel/Fax: (504) 827-5737

European address:
Schwenninger Strasse 2,
78628 Rottweil
Tel: +49 (0)741-1755551
Fax: +49 (0)741-1755553

Worldwide cell: +49 (0)170-963-2025

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