Tom Richards is a musician with a kaleidoscopic range of work. A low-brass specialist, pianist, composer, conductor, and producer, Tom performs in dozens of active projects, including The Heavyweights Brass Band, The Human Rights, The Big Butter and Egg Men, Riverrun, and The Woodshed Orchestra. Riverrun has become well known for pushing the boundaries of conventional performance practice through the radical use of technology and the staging of 12-hour marathon performances.
Happily embracing a modern cultural polyphony, Tom creates music in many different genres, from avant-garde to reggae, indie-rock, traditional New-Orleans music and beyond.
Tom recorded trombone for the award-winning Cuphead video game soundtrack, released in 2017. The soundtrack charted at #1 on Billboard's international jazz chart in September 2019, making Cuphead the first ever video game to achieve that honour.
2019 also saw the release of a groundbreaking new software synthesizer called Bassynth, created by Wave Alchemy. To create the engine for this instrument, Tom was called in to record an extensive sample library on trombone, euphonium, tuba, and sousaphone. The resulting instrument has been widely hailed as a breakthrough in the world of soft-synths. Music Radar called it “The last word in sound design”.
In his 20 year career, Tom has recorded and performed with Roscoe Mitchell, Ron Sexmith, Gregory Stafford, Kevin Breit, Ben Caplan, Bruno Capinan, Friendly Rich, David Braid, The Wooden Sky, The Hidden Cameras, Rheostatics, Spoon, The Massey Hall Band, The Australian Art Orchestra, Theatre Columbus, Soulpepper Theatre, and many others. Tom has a discography of more than 100 albums, and has a busy performance schedule, approaching 300 live dates per year.
Tom has composed several hundred pieces of original music, ranging from solo repertoire to large ensemble works. The last few years have seen him arrange and compose for Ron Sexmith, The Massey Hall Band, The Heavyweights Brass Band, and The Queer Songbook Orchestra, to name a few. Tom was commissioned in 2018 to write a piece for the Composer’s Collective Toronto Suite, and his composing/arranging work was featured on at least five new albums in the same year. His electro-acoustic piece Rosetta was premiered at Spectrum Music's Starry Night concert in February, 2015. Tom's composition Full and Empty Barrel for trumpet and piano was premiered at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Standard Life Competition in November, 2014.
Tom is the conductor of Sarah Jerrom's acclaimed “Yeats Project”, and in 2012 he conducted the debut of Ali Berkok’s original score for Eisenstein’s silent film “Battleship Potemkin”.