Richard Exall

Clarinet, saxophones, flute, composer and arranger


Richard studied clarinet with Jack Brymer, Colin Courtney and Colin Bradbury and at the Royal College of Music with international soloist Michael Collins. Self-taught on saxophone, he formed his own jazz quartet and big band while still at college and quickly became a familiar figure on the London jazz scene, playing with a wide range of bands and artists from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to the Ink Spots.
After leaving college Richard juggled a career in the classical and jazz worlds, playing with the London Symphonietta, London Symphony Orchestra and Glynbourne Opera amongst others, and finding regular work in the West End. Joining forces with American trombone player Rob Killips, Richard was a founder member of the jazz quintet 'Root Position', which soon established itself as one of Europe’s best young jazz groups by winning awards at both the Getxo and Leverkusen international Jazz Festivals, and regularly performing at Pizza Express Jazz Club (Dean St), Blackheath Concert Halls and throughout the UK.
In the early 1990’s Richard became the saxophone player of choice in the booming latin-jazz scene, touring the United States and Europe with Jesus Alemany’s renowned band Cubanismo, in which he had the honour of being the only non-Cuban member. He was also a regular musician with Orchestra La Clave, Robin Jones’ King Salsa, Viramundo, Roberto Pla and Tumbaito. Richard worked alongside many of the great names in the latin music world including Carlos Del Puerto, Mario Rivera, Orlando Watussi, Tito Allen, Alfredo Rodriguez and Tata Guines.
Establishing himself as a reliable big band player, good reader and improviser, Richard worked with most of the established big bands, such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra (UK), The Ross Mitchell Band and Singers, The Memphis Belle Orchestra, Freddie Staff’s Manhattan Big Band and The Nelson Riddle Orchestra (UK). In the late 1990’s Richard became a more regular name amongst the vintage jazz fraternity playing regularly with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra and the Charleston Chasers. Richard has been a regular member of the Big Chris Barber Band since 2004 and is still currently touring throughout Europe.
As a composer and arranger, Richard has produced work for many groups and ensembles, including the acclaimed saxophone ensemble Saxtet, which he joined in 1996. He has performed regularly with contemporary jazz groups and classical ensembles such as the Mike Westbrook big band, Hugh Warren’s Barrel Organ Band, The London Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Matrix Ensemble and a performance at the Barbican Centre with the world famous Big Carla Bley Band. His recording and touring credits include The United Funk Organisation, William Orbit, PJ Proby, Martha Reeves, The Selector, Beat International and Ronnie Spector. Television and film credits include Holby City, Miss Marple and Bad Behaviour, which featured original musical composition.
As an educator, Richard has being involved in workshops and tutorials at various Universities and Music Colleges including Goldsmiths College, Trinity College of Music and the City of Birmingham Conservatoire, and was a resident professor of clarinet at Middlesex University for four years and professor of saxophone at The Centre For Young Musicians in London.

Away from music, Richard has also found time to run a specialist art shop, and spent a year developing and running an ecolodge in the jungles of Belize, Central America.


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