Richard Wyands

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Richard Wyands
BornJuly 2, 1928
Oakland, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger
Years active1944–present

Richard Francis Wyands (born July 2, 1928) is an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, best known as a side-man.

Early life[edit]

Wyands was born in Oakland, California on July 2, 1928.[1] He began playing in his teens in San Francisco, but later moved to New York City. At school and college he played piano and drums.[1] He began playing professionally in 1944.[1] Count Basie was an early influence on Wyands' style.[2]

Later life and career[edit]

In the early 1950s Wyands was part of Vernon Alley's group that was the house band at the Black Hawk club in San Francisco.[1] In this role, the pianist was part of the rhythm section that accompanied visiting soloists.[1] The year after leaving this role in 1954, Wyands was an intermission performer at another San Francisco club,[1] before becoming music director for vocalist Ella Fitzgerald during a 3-month period in 1956.[2]

For ten months around 1957 he was accompanist to pop singers in a club in Ottawa, Canada.[1] Following this, he toured with vocalist Carmen McRae for three months, and arrived in New York with her in 1958.[1] In New York, he played with Roy Haynes, Charles Mingus (1959), Jerome Richardson (1959), and Gigi Gryce.[1] In the 1960s Wyands was a member of Illinois Jacquet's band.[1]

Wyands worked with guitarist Kenny Burrell from 1965 to 1974.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Kenny Burrell

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Teddy Edwards

With Frank Foster

With Gigi Gryce

With Roy Haynes

With Freddie Hubbard

With Willis Jackson

With Etta Jones

With Roland Kirk

With Charles Mingus

With Oliver Nelson

With Houston Person

With Jerome Richardson

With Richard Williams

With Bobby Kapp, Gene Perla


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gardner, Mark; Kernfeld, Barry, Wyands, Richard, Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, retrieved December 18, 2014, (Subscription required (help))
  2. ^ a b Panken, Ted (December 2, 2012) "An interview with Richard Wyands for the Liner Notes for Half and Half (Criss-Cross) – Feb. 7, 2000".

External links[edit]