Richard Andrew Schwartz is an award winning and Grammy® considered saxophonist performing in both classical and jazz genres. He has commissioned and/or premiered nearly thirty new works for saxophone, performed for regional, national and international events in North and South America and Europe and is the grand prize winner of the 1997 International Henri Mancini Institute Concerto Competition and recipient of the 2010 Southeastern Louisiana University President's Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity and 2017-2018 Eastern New Mexico University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. After performing the Boston premiere of Jan Curtis' Transformations for voice, piano, and alto saxophone in Jordan Hall, The Boston Globe declared, "…Richard Schwartz displayed extraordinary talent on the saxophone, sympathetically mirroring the voice and contributing his own improvisatory imagination."
Dr. Schwartz has been a freelancing musician for over 25 years. He has performed featured solos with such pop musical legends as Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin and has shared the stage with major jazz artists backing up Tom Scott, Byron Stripling, Diana Krall, Steve Tyrell, Ernie Watts, John Clayton, Dave Grusin, Roy Hargrove, Bob Mintzer, The Turtle Island String Quartet, Paquito d'Rivera, Justo Almario, Don Menza, Bud Shank, and Bill Watrous. Having also performed in orchestras, most notably the Mobile and Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestras and the Boston Pops, Dr. Schwartz has worked with an array of renowned commercial composers, conductors, and performers including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Mathis, Ben Vereen, Keith Lockhart, Dennis Edwards (of The Temptations), Nathan Scott, Johnny Mandel, Peter Boyer, Jack Elliot, Mitchell Glickman, Frank Proto, Charles Floyd, Samuel Adler, Frank Battisti, H. Robert Reynolds, Ray Pizzi and Patrick Williams.
WOODWIND SPECIALIST, RECITALIST, LECTURER & OTHER
As a woodwind specialist (saxophones, clarinets and bassoon), Dr. Schwartz has performed in pit orchestras including the national tours of Kiss Me, Kate, The Color Purple and The Producers and has recorded projects for Public Television and the Centaur, SONY and Toshiba labels. Dr. Schwartz has offered solo classical and jazz recitals throughout the United States and has offered lectures on intonation and extended woodwind techniques at North and South American conferences. A member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Epsilon and Theta Phi) and honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi (Lambda Xi and Beta Lambda), he has performed for United States senators, governors and President Ronald Reagan.
In January of 2020, Dr. Schwartz began serving as department chair for the Eastern New Mexico University Department of Art. Duties include overseeing five faculty members, two staff members, course schedules, course catalog, budgets, recruiting endeavors, faculty meetings and more. In 2014 Dr. Schwartz began administrating the annual ENMU JazzFest in Portales, NM. Duties include the organization of all performances and masterclasses, budgetary needs, artist communications, contracts and high school jazz ensemble competition. Past headlining artists have included: Brad Leali, Bill Dobbins, Ellen Rowe, Bill Cunliffe, Bill Carrothers, Wayne Goins and Rodney Booth. Past New Mexico Jazz Educator guest artists have included: Kevin Moreman, Brad Dubbs, John Sanks, Kent Erickson and Chris Ishee.
From 2015 to 2017 Dr. Schwartz served as president of the New Mexico Jazz Educators where his duties included quarterly article submissions in the New Mexico Musician magazine, the organization of an annual four-day All-State Jazz audition process, the organization of all business meetings and the organization of an annual three-day All-State Jazz conference featuring multiple guest artists.
From 2011 to 2013 Dr. Schwartz served as Southeastern Louisiana University's faculty senate president where his duties included organization of all faculty senate and executive council meetings, addressing the concerns of over 660 faculty members and serving on a multitude of committees including the university president annual review, head of human resources search and university planning. From 2004 to 2013, Schwartz administrated the annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival in Hammond, LA. Duties included the organization of all performances and masterclasses, budgetary needs, artist communications and contracts. Past guest artists included: Ellis Marsalis, Ted Rosenthal, Chuck Israels, Bill Dobbins, Ellen Rowe, Bill Cunliffe, Bill Carrothers, Elliot Zigmond, Delfeayo Marsalis, Andy LaVerne, John Abercrombie, James Carter and more. In 2007, Dr. Schwartz administered and hosted the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 6 Conference in Hammond, LA.
As an educator, Dr. Schwartz’s high school, undergraduate and graduate saxophone students have performed at regional, national and international saxophone conventions, have successfully been placed in public and private school system teaching positions and have been accepted to leading institutions of music including the New England Conservatory, Northwestern University, Berklee College of Music, Indiana University, The University of North Texas, Loyola University New Orleans, Boston University, The Longy School of Music, The University of Florida, the University of Southern Florida, the University of Northern Iowa and others. Past university saxophone students of Dr. Schwartz have been decorated with awards including grand prizes at concerto competitions, prizes at chamber music competitions (including Plowman and Fischoff), endowed scholarships (up to $100,000) and an array of esteemed awards.
INVENTOR, AUTHOR & RECORDING ARTIST
Awarded three United States patents, Schwartz founded the music publication company SilverKeyMusic.com authoring the internationally recognized intonation tool The Tuning C.D. and instructional guides Circular Breathe Now, The Sight-Reading Workbook, MU$IC MONEY 101: The Entrepreneurial Musician and Transitions: A Graduated Jazz Method and has published contributions in The Instrumentalist, Saxophone Journal and International Trumpet Guild Journal. Dr. Schwartz’s latest compact disc entitled Embers: Music for saxophone with piano and electronics appeared on the 2015 Recording Academy’s official ballot for Grammy® Award nominations: Field 28, Category 78, Number 107.
SAXOPHONE QUARTET MEMBER
Schwartz served as baritone saxophonist with the Louisiana Saxophone Quartet, along with Griffin Campbell, Jennifer Foret and Paula Van Goes. Since its formation in 2009 the quartet has performed throughout the Gulf Coast region. The ensemble was featured at the 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance Region VI conference in Jacksonville, Florida and the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference in Tuscon, AZ. In June 2011 the quartet toured South America performing, adjudicating, and teaching at the Conservatório de Tatuí and the music schools of UNRIO and UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the III International Saxophone and Clarinet Encounter in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia they performed to critical acclaim. The Louisiana Saxophone Quartet was hailed by the Bolivian newspaper Ovación as "a group of four virtuoso saxophonists that possess excellent technical attributes and a deep understanding of the music they perform."
In order to make ends meet as a doctoral music student at Boston University, Schwartz built an 80-member music teaching studio in Milton and Newton, Massachusetts. After accepting a saxophone and jazz position at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, Dr. Schwartz used recruiting strategies he learned in Massachusetts. With humble beginnings (just four saxophone majors), Dr. Schwartz built a large and very active saxophone studio for a regional university: 18 music majors.
Relocating to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM, Dr. Schwartz began with two saxophone majors in his first year. But just a few short years later the bustling studio is quickly growing...as can be seen by the pictures on the above "Eastern" link. Dr. Schwartz regularly takes a student saxophone quartet on recruitment tours. Past tours have traveled to Boston (MA), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA), Roswell (NM), Albuquerque (NM), Las Cruces (NM), Hobbs (NM), Plainview (TX), Levelland (TX), Amarillo (TX), Lubbock (TX) and San Antonio (TX). As conductor, Dr. Schwartz regularly takes the Eastern New Mexico University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos off campus to perform in a number of New Mexico jazz festivals and private events including the Roswell and Onate Jazz Festivals.
Dr. Schwartz serves as associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies at Eastern New Mexico University (2014-present) and has served on the faculties of Boston University (1998-2002), Brandies University (2002-2003) and Southeastern Louisiana University (2004-2013). Of note, Dr. Schwartz served with known wind conductor Frank Battisti at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute as saxophone and saxophone chamber music instructor (2000-2004).