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Biography




Howard Richards
P.O. Box 167
Petoskey, MI 49770



Howard was born on July 10 in Evanston Illinois and began his musical journey at the age of 5.

Upon receiving a small Magnus Chord Organ for Christmas, he began learning songs from the radio by ear and it prompted his parents to enroll him at the Bettis School of music in Lake Zurich IL. In one year he was ready to play in recital at the organ even though he couldnít yet reach the pedals. Over the next 10 years he achieved a great deal and earned four 1st place awards through the National Society of Student Organists.

He later turned his attention toward Classical music and studied with Dr. Wayne Wyrembelski from the University of Michigan. Within a few years he performed recitals including the works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rheinberger, Boelmann and Franck. In 1979 he performed in Master Class with Dr. John Obetz, and was invited to perform on the large 5 manual Aeolian Skinner Organ at the Auditorium in Independance, KS.

After leaving Michigan in 1979 he traveled to Tucson AZ and was enrolled in Pima College for two years and then the University of Arizona. It was during this period that he became acquainted with the piano. It was in this genre that he discovered his true forte. After several years of serious Jazz studies under the tutelage of Michael Greco, who played with Woody Herman at the age of 19, he accomplished what many thought was not possible, making the transition from organ to piano.

Returning to Michigan, he studied Classical piano at Bay View Conservatory and performed a number of all Chopin recitals as well as other programs encompassing a variety of composers. Jazz music eventually won out as he performed with many groups and ensembles throughout the state. He gained popularity as one of Michiganís finest Jazz artists. Trio performances included "Bakers Keyboard Lounge' in Detriot. His Jazz festival performances continue to receive airplay on Central Michigan Universityís (CMU) Public Radio.

In 2003, Howard brought his unique talent to Atlanta in order to further his career and secure more venues for his jazz and original music. Since moving to Atlanta, Howard has accompanied the annual 'Lucia Celebration' for the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, and has served two area churches. He has also made numerous appearances with local Jazz groups as well as accompaning a Live Painting event for French corporate artist Mathias DuHamel. In addition, his compositions, "Waltz in the Park", "Rondo" and "Hard Night in the City" have been accepted for publication through Crucial Music in CA,Pump Audio in NY and BeatPick in London UK for placement in the TV and Film Industry.

He was filmed for a corporate promotion video with Columbian Chemicals on stage at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, and was featured on the TV broadcast of "Atlanta Jazz and Blues" being aired on Comcast Cable.

Howard has since returned to Northern Michigan in order to continue his musical journey through life.


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