Richard spent his formative years as a jazz musician playing in big bands and combos at UC Berkeley, Chabot College, and CSU Hayward. He was fortunate enough to play in groups directed by a diverse set of well-known jazz educators such as Dave Eshelman, Dann Zinn, Ted Moore, Steve Campos, Frank Martin, and Jon Palacio. The highlights of this period include a European tour with the CSU Hayward Jazz Ensemble and a Japanese tour with the Chabot College Jazz Ensemble.
Since then, Richard has performed with numerous jazz big bands and small groups in the San Jose and peninsula area, including Full Spectrum Jazz, A Touch of Brass, Octobop, and Bug Horn Rex. His musical career also includes performances backing highly acclaimed musicians such as Gordon Goodwin, Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Eric Marienthal, Geoffrey Keezer, Bobby Shew, Peter Erskine, Andy Martin, Wayne Bergeron, Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts, Bob Sheppard, and Grant Geissman.