This bold and striking new big band recording reflects a giant, generous world of influences.  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.   --New York City Jazz Record --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------             A student of avant-garde composers Donald Erb and Mario Davidovsky, and a core member of Mark Harvey's Boston- based Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Nelson takes a few cues from these experiences, and adds more than a few of his own, to come up with a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music. . . Nelson is an ambitious and daring composer . . . Props go to Nelson for letting the members of his ensemble have most of the solo space, though his guitar solo on "Strive" leaves a hunger to hear more.   --AllAboutJazz.com --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------             Nelson's new CD "Pursuit," released this week, is a bold and highly satisfying musical statement by his Large Ensemble (13 musicians). Recorded live at the University of Maine at Augusta, where Nelson teaches, the work includes five movements that range in content from thoughtful solos through chamberlike passages for duos and trios to full-out collective improvisations. Add touches of big band swagger, as Nelson does, and you've got a lot to paddle through -- but it's a very fun trip.          --Portland Press Herald -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------             Eleven years into local CD reviewing and I'm pretty sure that Pursuit, guitarist Richard Nelson's third album, is the first to feature a jazz ensemble of this size and scope.  It's a pleasure to listen to. . . . Associate professor of music and head of the composition concentration at the University of Maine at Augusta, Nelson here is documenting what must be considered a significant American composition.­ --Portland Phoenix”

— Praise for Pursuit:

   "Thirst for experimentation . . . pushing of known boundaries . . . appreciation for the time-tested sounds of the tradition. Not your typical guitar date. --Cadence --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nelson merges Euro-jazz type improvisation with the upfront tenacity of a multi-directional New York City downtown-like vibe. --EJazzNews  ”

— Praise for Origin Story:

Serious . . . intense . . . imaginative . . . profound . . . --Dave Nathan in All Music Guide ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nelson's tone is ripe with clarity . . . his guitar rings out with his original concepts. --Frank Rubolino in Cadence Magazine  ”

— Praise for Figurations:

Upcoming Shows

Previous events

Date Event Location
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Blue, Portland Blue, Portland
 —  — “Our Big Band” - Music of Steve Grover, arr. by Nelson and several others. SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME 04101 SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME 04101
 —  — “Our Big Band” - Music of Steve Grover, arr. by Nelson and several others The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH 03801 The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Resinosa Ensemble performs new RN work, others Olin Arts Center, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240 Olin Arts Center, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Cadenza, Freeport, Maine Cadenza, Freeport, Maine
Makrokosmos Orchestra w/Band of Bones ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York
Resinosa Ensemble performs new RN work, others Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, Me Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, Me
Resinosa Ensemble premieres RN work, others Corthell Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine Corthell Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra MIT Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA MIT Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Maine Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Maine
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra MIT Killian Hall, Cambridge, MA MIT Killian Hall, Cambridge, MA
Makrokosmos Orchestra ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
Performance of my trio "Ascent" at Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival Mechanics Hall, Portland, Maine Mechanics Hall, Portland, Maine
Postponed!! Makrokosmos Orchestra Sir D's Lounge, Brooklyn, NY Sir D's Lounge, Brooklyn, NY
New Music for Jazz Orchestra Kresge Auditorium @ MIT, Boston, MA Kresge Auditorium @ MIT, Boston, MA
Premiere of my "Ascent" for violin, cello, and piano University Of Maine Augusta - Jewett Auditorium, Augusta, ME University Of Maine Augusta - Jewett Auditorium, Augusta, ME