Richard Brookens, Saxophones

We are so happy that Richard Brookens joined the Live Hymnal family in the making of our first album, “Prelude”!  Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Richard grew up in upstate New York and then Washington, DC, and now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Richard is an arranger/composer and multi-instrumentalist performing on saxophones, flutes, clarinets, Indian Tabla drums, Udu (Clay Pots), Native American Indian Flutes, and bamboo flutes from India (Bansuri) and China (Dizi).  During his musical career Richard has enjoyed studying and working in many different musical styles and settings: Jazz, Rock, Classical, Musical Theater, Flamenco, Indian, Japanese, and World Fusion. A lifelong student, Richard is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, a student of Joe Allard and Charles Banacos, and he later began his studies on Bansuri and Tabla at the Ali Akbar College of Indian Music in San Rafael, California.  

All of these have influenced his approach to composition and improvisation.  Since 1999 he has been recording original music fusing Jazz and world instruments under the project name Yellow Bell (check out YellowBellMusic.com!). In South Florida, Richard regularly works in a wide scope of fields and communities: Flamenco dance company, Bailles Ferrer, Fusion Jazz guitarist Randy Bernsen, dance/music performance art group, Duo DADA, the Palm Beach Pops, Actor's Playhouse, New Vista Theater, FAU, The Broward Performing Arts Center, and The Kravis Performing Arts Center.  Richard may also be found around South Florida performing at Kirtan Masses and Yoga workshops with a host of artists and gurus a mile long.  He is also certified in Sivananda and Kundalini Yoga and has taught Yoga in the South Florida area for over twelve years.  Richard has also worked in the film industry as a music composer, orchestrator, arranger, music supervisor and music director.

Additionally, his music was used in the award-winning documentary film, 'The Empty Mind', about the spiritual aspects of martial arts. This film has never-before-seen footage of the Shao-lin and Wu-Dang Temples in China in addition to the other major schools of martial arts in China and Japan.  Music from his CDs has also been used in a production of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' by Robert Hooker.  Here is a mind-blowing list of some of the artists Richard has worked with: The Artie Shaw Orchestra, Cab Calloway, trumpeter Nat Adderly, pianist James Williams, Buddy Greco, Roy Clark, Boots Randolph, Tiny Tim, Clark Terry, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Hal Linden, Mary Street Dance Co., Lucie Arnaz, Jimmie Rosselli, Shirley Jones, and Tony Orlando.  Richard say he is “grateful to be part of such a cool spirit based project” and he always looks forward “to playing with all the great musicians Charles Milling has brought together!”

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