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, Queen Kong, Avi Granite 6, and the Woodshed Orchestra. Tom is the composer and producer behind Unfolding River, an 81-piece series of avant-classical music based on the Tao te Ching.
In 2022, Tom arranged and orchestrated a key segment of the film score for The Colour of Ink, a documentary film produced by the National Film Board of Canada and directed by Brian D. Johnson. He performs on piano and trombone throughout the film. The Colour of Ink premiered at TIFF in September 2022.
In 2021, Tom was commissioned to compose a 60-minute piece for Don't Wake the Lions, a modern dance show produced by Votive Dance in Halifax. In addition to performing on trombone and piano, Tom worked closely with choreographer Catherine Hayward to incorporate movement into the musical elements and to orchestrate rhythmic elements of the dance.
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 well over 100 albums, and has a busy performance schedule, approaching 300 live dates per year.