This is Richard
Born in 1996, Rio Piedras, PR, Richard Peña is the jazz guitarist of the new generation of jazz of the island. Throughout his high school years at the Escuela Libre de Musica of San Juan and current years studying his Bachelors Degree at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, Peña participated in many international music events such as the Berklee Highschool Jazz Festival (award 4th place in the 2015 edition); Heneiken Ventana al Jazz in Orlando, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico; Concurso Internazionale di Canto Corale in Seghizzi, Italy; over 5 times at the Long Weekends Jazz Festival at Palmas del Mar; Humacao Jazz Festival; Festival de Jazz de Carolina (2018); Pimentón Fiesta de Aniversario & Jazz Festival; Sancocho Jazz Fest (2014 edition); Daskalos Music Festival; Toured the cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago of Dominican Republic playing at venues such as the Santo Domingo Jazz Festival at Casa de Teatro (2017 edition), Fiesta Sunset Jazz Club, The Gran Teatro del Cibao and Santo Domingo de Fiesta; Comienza La Noche Buena en La Placita de Santurce; Paseo de las Artes en Caguas: Pa’l Pueblo; La Placita Food Festival (2017 edition); Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular; Puerto Rican jazz clubs such as Abracadabra, Don Rey Cigar and many other local music events and venues.
Peña has performed with players such as Grammy Award Winner Charlie Sepúlveda, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Ramón Vázquez, Yissy García, Ricardo Pons, Fernando García, Edgard Abraham, Guy Frómata, Julio Alvarado, Juan Guillermo Aguilar, Gonchi Sifre, Fidel Morales, Pedro Guzman, Jose Ortiz, Efraín Martínez, Elías Santos Celpa, Gabriel Rodriguez, Sammy Morales, Hector Matos, Jose Oquendo, Edmar Colón, Orlando Laureano, Latin singers Carlos Vives, Victor Manuelle and Tito el Bambino. He also recorded in the award winning album "Ready For Departure" by Guess Who Jazz Quartet (awarded for Best New Production by the Fox Music USA Latin Music Awards in 2015), which featured artists such as Charlie Sepúlveda, Egui Castrillo, Ricardo Pons, Raúl Maldonado, William Machado. and Berklee's first cuatro player Fabiola Marí Méndez.
On October 16th of 2018, Richard released his first solo album “Hey, Don Rey!” (all original music). Dedicated to Richard’s father, “Hey, Don Rey!” is a powerful view of the Latin side of jazz guitar. With an astonishing blend of the traditional sounds of Latin music, the modern colors of post-bop/fusion jazz and the warm sound of the guitar, Peña delivers a refreshing pallet of melodic and harmonic ideas that renews the role of the guitar in the tradition of Latin Jazz.
On August of 2018, Richard Peña got together with Bassist Elias Santos Celpa & Drummer Hector Matos to recreate the spirit of Joe Pass’s jazz guitar into the tradition of Puerto Rican folkloric music, giving birth to the Borinqueneers Jazz Trio. The album focuses on renewing traditional Puertorican melodies through the harmonic and rhythmic pallet of jazz, inserting improvisation as a mechanism to push the music to new heights while maintaining the sense of tradition and ethnicity throughout the melodic and rhythmic layouts that our folklore provides. The album’s release date is soon to be announced.
The Richard Peña Latin Jazz band was the featured house band for the T.V. Show "Ellas y Tus Noches" (Broadcast every Monday on Channel 13 of local Puerto Rican television). In 2016, Richard composed a three movement jazz suite for the renounced concert of modern dance school Coda 21, “Move + Sound”, debuted at the Centro de Bellas Artes de Santurce on July 22nd and 23rd the same year.
Currently, If not on tour, Peña can be heard at his usual steady gigs every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday at Don Rey Cigar at the Placita de Santurce and Fridays at Don Rey Cigar at Caguas.