Deep River

A singular jazz suite that reimagines and reclaims early 20th century American roots music, treating it at times abstractly, as a springboard for the ensemble's inventive improvisers, and finally in surprising though recognizable vocal settings.

Click here to download or purchase the physical CD from CDbaby.

Also available from iTunes and other major vendors.


Pursuit Five-movement large ensemble composition, plus two quintet tracks.

"Guitarist Richard Nelson has written a suite of music that would seem at home on a jazz stage or in a contemporary concert- music venue. . . The writing is complex but emotionally engaging, dense yet clean and resonant. . . .The colors of the orchestra are spellbinding, evocative and powerful." 

--Donald Elfman, New York City Jazz Record

Click here to download or buy the physical cd from cdbaby.  Also available from itunes and other major vendors.

Origin Story


Warm-toned, engaging, bold progressive jazz featuring guitarist Nelson's innovative compositions. Mingus meets Cage meets Hendrix.  Quintet features trumpet legend Don Stratton, alto saxophonist Tim O'Dell, and drummer Steve Grover.  Bassists are Sam Sherry and Greg Loughman.


Click here to download or buy the physical cd from cdbaby.  Also available from itunes and other major vendors.

origin story @ cdbaby




Jazz trio album of standards and originals, with drummer Steve Grover and bassist Chris Van Voorst Van Beest.    Articulate, lyrical modern trio featuring guitarist Nelson. Warm and inventive with distinctive originals and standards ranging from Wayne Shorter to Cole Porter to Ornette Coleman.

Click here to download or buy the physical cd from cdbaby.  Also available from itunes and other major vendors.

Figurations @ cdbaby

Upcoming Shows


Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble

Blue, 650A Congress Street, Portland

The Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble

Creative contemporary jazz meets jazz-tinged blues and Americana, featuring vocalist Marcia Gallagher. Alongside guitarist Nelson’s dynamic and exploratory contemporary jazz compositions, expect South African jazz, music by Thelonious Monk, and jazz-tinged takes on blues and Americana classics featuring Maine's outstanding jazz vocalist Marcia Gallagher. The program will include titles from Nelson's latest CD Deep River, on which Gallagher is a featured vocalist.

Featuring: Richard Nelson, guitar Marcia Gallagher, vocals Frank Mauceri, tenor saxophone Peter Herman, guitar Asher Barreras, bass RJ Miller, drums

"Thirst for experimentation . . . pushing of known boundaries . . . appreciation for the time-tested sounds of the tradition. Not your typical guitar date." --Cadence

"('Deep River' is) a masterful suite by composer/guitarist Richard Nelson that merges jazz and American folk music." --Boston Globe