Richard Michael occupies a unique place in the musical life of his native Scotland, as he has the versatility to improvise on any theme, in any key and in any given style.

He has a virtuosic piano technique enabling him to give recitals on “The History of Jazz Piano”, encompassing every major jazz pianist from Fats Waller to Keith Jarrett, and is a master of stride piano playing. 

Years spent as Head of Music in Beath High School, Cowdenbeath have led to an easy rapport with audiences explaining how music works. A popular broadcaster on Radio Scotland since 2007, he has revealed to thousands of listeners the secrets of the jazz masters in his role as “Jazz Jargonbuster”.

He is Honorary Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of St Andrews, and played a major role in the development of the ABRSM Jazz Piano Syllabus.

Richard, through his pioneering work with Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra, has been influential in the development of many of our finest musicians such as Calum Gourlay, Helena Kay, Fergus McCreadie and Kim Macari. Richard currently runs a ”Virtual” FYJO with members from all over the UK.

He has had a regular feature on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Jazz Nights” for the past 14 years, opening up and explaining how jazz works to thousands of listeners, and is one of the country’s most experienced educators.

He is currently working on a book and DVD for Hal Leonard Inc. entitled “Jazz Piano for Kids”, is teaching improvisation on Nicola Benedetti’s Foundation, and plays the organ in Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy. 

CDs – are available from iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, Amazon and Birnam CDs.


“The Diel’s Awa’ Wi’ The Jazzman” 

“The Michaels play the Great American Songbook”

“The Brothers” (with Richard’s late brother Will Michael)

“A History of Jazz Piano”

“Anything But A Silent Night”

Richard Michael on YouTube

Haddo  Arts Concert

History of Jazz Piano in 10 minutes

Virtual Fringe Gig

Scottish Jazz Awards 2021- Lifetime Achievement Award

My thanks to all who thought me worthy of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" I was presented with at the Scottish Awards ceremony in Glasgow last night.
Not often I wear a tie but on occasion I do scrub up well!
Just so fitting that Morag was with me last night as she is part of the story of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra since the band started in 1976.
And lovely to have Seoanid Aitken, with whom I had been recording with last week, to be presenting the Awards and to see her Rose Room deservedly win an award for Best Band.
A message from our children Robin, Joanna and Hils just made the night for us both.
And finally…. I ain't stopping!

Glasgow, 8th November 2021