Richard Sussman

Richard Sussman is an eclectic and critically acclaimed composer, pianist, music technologist, educator, and author. He has performed and/or collaborated with many jazz legends including Lionel Hampton, Lee Konitz, Hank Jones, Houston Person, and Randy Brecker. He has been hailed by Downbeat magazine as “among the most ambitious composers on the jazz scene today.” Richard has also made a name for himself in the world of contemporary classical new music. His works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the Metropole Orchestra, the Sirius Quartet, the Composer’s Concordance Ensembles, violist Martha Mooke, violinist Jennifer Choi, and pianists Kathleen Supové and Jenny Q. Chai.

Richard has released five albums of original music including the underground classic “Free Fall”, and “The Evolution Suite” for Jazz Quintet, String Quartet, and Electronics. A dedicated educator, he has been on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music since 1986. His book, Jazz Composition and Arranging in the Digital Age, has been hailed as a comprehensive and trend-setting text for jazz composers in the 21st century.

Richard has received numerous awards including two NEA grants in Jazz Composition, an ASCAP Jazz Composition Award, and a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant. His extensive work in the field of film and TV has included projects for ABC, NBC, CBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon. Born in Philadelphia, Richard studied composition and arranging with Hall Overton, Ludmillah Ulehla, Manny Albam, and Michael Gibbs. He received a MM in Jazz Composition from the Manhattan School of Music.

Black Tea Music handles promotion and commissioning of all classical and select jazz works of Richard Sussman.

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Featured Works

Spirit Guide, for solo piano and electronics (2014)
The Evolution Suite, for jazz quintet, string quartet, violin solo & electronics (2016)
Continuum, for jazz quintet (2012)


Richard Sussman talks about Cicada Love Dance (for Composers NOW)


The Evolution Suite, Mov’t 5, “Perpetual Motion”


The Evolution Suite, Mov’t 1, “Into the Cosmic Kitchen”