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Richard Henry

Professorial Staff - Jazz Trombone



Richard Henry headshot


Richard is a Bass Trombone specialist performing on hundreds of sessions in film, theatre, popular, commercial and TV sound tracks. He is known for his work in many large jazz ensembles, from 1940s big band swing to contemporary jazz orchestras and anything in between or outside. He spent many years touring and recording with the bands of two prominent and influential contemporary American jazz artists, Carla Bley and George Russell.

Currently he is musician at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in productions of As You Like ItHenry V and Romeo and Juliet, playing contemporary scores on contemporary instruments. He is a member of the London Jazz Orchestra, London’s longest jazz residency and also the Chineke! Orchestra, founded by Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE. Other highlights of 2019 include recording and filming with the East London musician and actor Kano (a significant contributor to the Grime music scene).

In 2018, Richard was guest bass trombonist in Julian Joseph’s contemporary, multicultural reworking of Tristan and Isolde for solo voices, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Julian Joseph jazz trio, recorded live for BBC Radio. Autumn 2019 sees Richard’s film acting debut in The Man in the Hat, a silent comedy produced by Open Palm films and written and directed by Stephen Warbeck.

Performance Credits and Recordings

Richard’s performance credits include the BBC radio band, the Back to Basie big band, 9 times winner of best British big band (of which he was an original member), the Glenn Miller UK orchestra and the European Broadcasting Union’s Big Band 1997, which played in Ljubljana.

He has also performed with the Carla Bley big band, George Russell living time orchestra, Hermeto Pascal UK/Brazilian big band (1994, 2004, 2016), Mike Gibbs 80th birthday tour, Kenny Wheeler 75th birthday tour, Django Bates’ Delightful precipice, Bob Brookmeyer/Ed Partyka Jazz orchestra, Loose Tubes (the reunion), Julian Siegal Jazz Orchestra, the Pete Hurt Jazz orchestra and Mark Lockhart’s Scratch band.

Richard’s playing can be heard on Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now and Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back. He took part in Barbra Streisand’s 1994 Tour at Wembley Arena, played with high-profile musicians such as Dame Shirley Bassey (various concerts), Michael Bublé (on TV), George Michael – Symphonica tour 2012, Jessye Norman – Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music Barbican 1999 and Miguel Atwood Ferguson – Suite for Ma Dukes 2016/17.

In TV, Richard has played in Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, Chris Evans’s Don’t forget your toothbrush and TFI Friday (Ch4) and The Tube – Durutti Column (Ch 4 with Paula Yates and Jools Holland). He played with the Julian Joseph All Star Big Band at the BBC Proms in 1995 and with Clare Teal and big band at the BBC Proms in 2015. His appearances on the BBC have included Jonathan CreekJust William and Peoples Century (BBC). He played trombone and sousaphone for Fungus the Bogeyman (Sky 1).

In the world of theatre, Richard has played in My Fair Lady (National Theatre/Drury Lane), The Full Monty (UK premiere at the Prince of Wales Theatre), Guys ‘n’ Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), City of Angels (UK premiere at the Prince of Wales Theatre), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Lyric Theatre) and Five Guys Named Mo in Australia. He has also played in Lucy Bailey’s 2012 production of The Taming of the Shrew for the Royal Shakespeare Company and a 2013 production of The Tempest 2013 at Shakespeare’s Globe. In 2015, he took on the role of Musical Director in Richard II, while 2018 saw him perform in Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It.

His film credits include Shakespeare in LoveQuillsCaptain Corelli’s Mandolin (Stephen Warbeck), various James Bond soundtracks, Sleepy Hollow and many more.

Qualifications & Teaching Experience

Richard is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and completed postgraduate studies at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies (which coincidentally had its rehearsals at Greenwich Town Hall), Goldsmiths, London. He holds Qualified Teacher Status and is a former teacher of music in an East London secondary school. He was a 2019 tutor for the BundesJazzOrchestra Rheinsberg summer school, led by Django Bates.

Richard was a Brass Finalist in the third series of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.