Born into a musical family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Paul Richey has been surrounded by music his entire life. Learning violin at the age of three he eventually made the transition to piano at the age of six and has never looked back. Having a mother who trained as a classical and jazz vocalist and a piano-loving father who exposed Paul to recordings of pianists from Elton John to Oscar Peterson, ensured that his musical listening experience was varied.
As is common with many young pianists Paul began his musical life in the classical realm. During his formative and teenage years he was attracted to the music of more modern and impressionist composers like Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Eventually he began experimenting with and learning barrelhouse and boogie piano styles which eventually lead down the path to jazz.
While attending Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Paul’s interest in jazz broadened even wider as he discovered Chick Corea’s bands Return to Forever and The Chick Corea Elektric Band, Yellowjackets, Béla Fleck and The Flecktones, Eliane Elias, and Michel Camilo. The driving energy, the complex rhythms, the beautiful melodies and harmonies, and the pure creativity in these artists’ recordings inspired Paul to create similar music.