Richard D'Abreu


Jazz In The SpiritJazz In The SpiritJazz In The Spirit

Richard is a jazz musician. Originally from New York City, Richard was raised on Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, and Grover Washington, to name just a few. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, as well as a graduate of Brown University, where he studied and played jazz under Matthew McGarell and Joe Mulholland.  A gifted saxophonist (but equally skilled on the piano as well) Richard has also studied saxophone with Andy McGhee, Bill Pierce, Fred Lipsius, Joe Viola, and later David Alan Gross.  He has also performed with Max Roach, Barry Harris, Cecil Bridgewater, Cecil Payne, veteran George Benson bassist Stanley Banks, vocalist “Tulivu” Donna Cumberbatch, and a host of others. Well versed on either the piano or saxophone, Richard frequently uses both instruments in performances, sometimes even at the same time! Richard is a prolific composer with a catalog of over 350 songs.

Richard is also a gospel musician. He has served as music director for 9 years at the historic Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, NY (which was also Max Roach’s home church!)  Richard also grew up on hymns, gospel music, and anthems. At Brown University, he majored in Ethnomusicology  the study of music through the lens of culture). In addition to music from allover the world, one of the musical cultures he studied in depth was African American gospel music.  Richard has directed and/or accompanied the Gospel choirs at Brown University, Boston College, and Boston University, touring the US with them. He has also toured Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, Italy, and Germany with The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir, The Golden Gospel Singers, and The Glory Gospel Singers. In addition he has performed in gospel concerts with Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole, James Taylor, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has also performed with Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Bobby Jones, Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux, James Hall and many others.

Richard is helping to pioneer and promote music he calls “jazz in the spirit.” It has been called by a host of other names including gospel jazz, Christian jazz or even inspirational jazz. Richard believes this growing market is a new frontier for music in the new millennium. Richard views these as exciting opportunities to bring together jazz and gospel audiences together, (many times traditionally viewed as being on 'opposite sides of the fence') through this style of music. And even as this music represents a musical fusion, or 'blending together' of different styles, Richards vision for this music is that it will help different types of people come together and unite people in the spirit of God’s love. Richard continues to perform and promote this music, and has shared the vision behind it in both sacred and secular venues around the country.

In June of 2005, Richard and a larger Jazz in the Spirit Ensemble (6 musicians, 13 vocalists) were featured artists at the 7th Annual New York Family Arts Festival of the Theatre of the Riverside Church.  This free concert, as well as other events in the Festival, were underwritten by J.P. Morgan Chase, The New York Times, and Harlem World, as well as other contributing sponsors.  The response was so overwhelmingly positive that Richard was asked to return.

A devoted husband and father, Richard presently lives with his wife (the Rev. Makeba D’Abreu), and family in Richmond, Virginia. Richard is committed to 'giving back'  to the church and community that nurtured and raised him. Richard has a heart for young people, and has been a role model for many. He uses music to help them realize their potential. In 1997 he founded the Concord Music Studio, a private instruction program. He has also performed concerts in libraries, nursing homes, neighborhood festivals, and senior citizen centers as well as working with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build homes for the poor and underprivileged. He believes that sharing love and hope through music is a way to impact the “soul” of a community, which can then impact the world.

(Mp3 samples)

By And By
Look And Live
Count Your Blessings

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