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

Previous events


Resinosa Ensemble performs new RN work, others

Olin Arts Center, Bates College, 75 Russell St, Lewiston, ME 04240

The Resinosa Ensemble performs A Forest of Glass, a Kaleidoscope, a Dream, my new set of art songs for mezzo-soprano, cello, and piano. Settings of poems by Maine-based poet Ellen Taylor. The Resinosa Ensemble is Joelle Morris, mezzo-soprano; Eliza Meyer, cello; and Bridget Convey, piano. Additionally featuring new works by Maine composers: Daniel Sonenberg and Nancy Gunn. And works by Andre Previn, Bunita Marcus and Lukas Foss.


Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble

Cadenza, 5 Depot St, Freeport, Maine

The Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble defies categorization with programs that range from straight-ahead jazz to progressive jazz (and improvised music of all sorts) to music that draws freely across the folk/blues/Americana spectrum.  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. Richard Nelson, guitar; Marcia Gallagher, vocals; Frank Mauceri, saxophones; 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  

$12.00 advance, $15.00 door


Makrokosmos Orchestra w/Band of Bones

ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn, New York

Makrokosmos Orchestra: Featuring new, genre-defying compositions by co-leaders Richard Nelson and Tim O'Dell, with a 15-player ensemble drawing on outstanding New York creative contributors. With Christine Correa, voice; Peter Bloom, flutes; Tim O'Dell, saxophones; Adam Kolker, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Alan Brady, bass clarinet, clarinet; Marshall Sealy, French horn; John Carlson, trumpet; Jacob Varmus, trumpet; David Chamberlain, euphonium; Dale Turk, bass trombone; Arcoiris Sandoval, keyboards, sound design; Richard Nelson, guitar; Ken Filiano, bass; Rex Benincasa, hand percussion; and Scott Neumann, drums.