Richard Drexler is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer/arranger from Bloomington-Normal, IL. He has lived in central Florida since 1985.
After eleven years at the University of Central Florida and four years at Valencia College as an adjunct on their Jazz Studies faculties, he has moved into a full-time similar role at UCF (which also awarded him their first masters degree in music composition).
He has played on around 200 recordings; played piano in the Woody Herman Orchestra for over twenty years; was the bassist in trios of Kenny Drew Jr., Dick Hyman and others.
Richard's live duo recording with UCF Director of Jazz Studies, Jeff Rupert, placed high on all the national jazz radio tracking charts for most of 2017.
His main traveling gig for 16 years has been with electric bassist Jeff Berlin, with whom Richard plays both piano and acoustic bass. He has subbed with eleven Florida orchestras on seven instruments, plus in groups as diverse as Cheap Trick, Little Anthony & the Imperials and Saigon Kick; singers he has worked with include Mose Allison, Karrin Allyson, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Diahann Carroll, Vic Damone, Dena DeRose, Donovan, Bob Dorough, Connie Francis, Amy Grant, Al Jarreau, Frankie Laine, Idina Menzel, Mark Murphy, Freda Payne, Bernadette Peters, Mel Torme’ and Roseanna Vitro.
Richard assisted Peruvian guitarist/composer/producer Richie Zellon on much of the Songosaurus label catalog, fusing jazz and South American rhythms, with Alex Acuña, Gato Barbieri, Jerry Bergonzi, Paquito d’Rivera, Bob Mintzer, Claudio Roditi and others. His playing has been favorably reviewed in Down Beat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and in dozens of online publications. Richard is one of just over a hundred players profiled in The New Face of Jazz, a Billboard (Random House) book by Cicily Janus with forewords by jazz legends Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Miller and Sonny Rollins, and has played with 40 of the other featured players.
“I have heard the future of Jazz, and it is Richard Drexler.” – Eric Addeo, Joel Chriss and Co., Jazz Times Magazine, 2004.