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

Feb23

“Our Big Band” - Music of Steve Grover, arr. by Nelson and several others

 —  —

The Press Room, 77 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Join OURBIGBAND, pianist Frank Carlberg, and a who’s who of the seacoast / Maine jazz scene in celebrating the life and music of Maine drummer / composer / educator Steve Grover. Grover, a Maine native and no stranger to The Press Room, was a versatile and in demand drummer, a winner of the 1994 Thelonious Monk Institute’s Composer Competition, and was widely known and respected for his talents, from New England to NYC and throughout the USA. A born teacher, a friend to many in the area, and colleague and mentor to many OBB members – Grover’s personality, his musicianship, and his compositions have left an indelible mark on all who knew him. Steve Grover passed suddenly in 2016 after a brief battle with cancer. Frank Carlberg, Richard Nelson, OURBIGBAND, and a host of guest composers will pay tribute to their friend and mentor by adapting Grover’s small group compositions for the large jazz orchestra.

$7-$12 Advanced | $10-$15 Day of Show

Feb9

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.

Jan31

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