Apart from his teaching at New School Jazz and Contemporary Music and numerous guest artist residencies, Richard maintains a robust teaching studio dedicated to private and semi-private study in a wide scope of musical areas, musical disciplines and levels:
• Guitar and Vocal Performance
• Brazilian music specialization
• Composition and Arranging
• Ear Training, Transcription, Listening Skills and Sight reading
With three decades of acclaimed university teaching and four decades individually mentoring musicians of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds, Richard designs a custom-tailored course of study which directly serves their unique interests and the path to higher levels of musicianship and creative expression.
Richard is fluent in Portuguese, and conversational in French, Spanish and Japanese.
Usually musicians have more than one area of interest they would like to explore with the same teacher in the same lesson.
• a guitarist interested in solo improvisation may need help with sight-reading an ensemble tune or develop their comping skills
• a vocalist interested in jazz scatting or Brazilian repertoire may need fundamental technique work to improve their sound, stamina and virtuosity
• a jazz composer may want to explore the harmonies of French Impressionists Debussy and Ravel, or work on their arranging and counterpoint
To accommodate multiple areas of study and economize on traveling time, lessons are TWO HOURS in length.
For optimum continuity, recommended EVERY TWO WEEKS. Musicians who are visiting from abroad or outside the New York City area can arrange special study intensives where lessons can occur with greater frequency.
For new students, Richard offers an OPTIONAL ONE-HOUR LESSON at the rate of $100.
If the student decides to schedule additional lessons, they will be for TWO-HOUR SESSIONS.
Prior to the first meeting, Richard requests background input from the student by e-mail, identifying their short and longterm creative/technical goals, stylistic interests and self-assessed skill levels in different musical disciplines. Materials are then carefully chosen and organized so that the first lesson is a substantive, focused session with a high degree of specificity and individualized attention.
Richard is very proactive in maintaining contact with students between lessons by e-mail. This additional contact between sessions promotes critical continuity and forms a productive, dynamic working relationship. Contact can include answering lesson-related questions, reviewing interim assigned work, sending digital print, audio and video links as supplementary material to the previous or for the following lesson.
DISTANCE LEARNING is also available via Skype to form new and maintain existing mentorships.
LESSON DOCUMENTATION: All lessons are recorded digitally and then uploaded to a private folder archive where the student can download mp3 audio files for their future reference. As this is a complementary service offered to each individual student, it is understood that lesson audio files are for use by that student ONLY and NOT for public distribution or dissemination.
Internationally acclaimed contemporary performing artist, composer, educator, author and journalist, Richard has led original music ensembles for over thirty-five years and performed extensively as a solo artist. A virtuoso guitarist and vocalist, he is recognized as one of today’s most important exponents and advocates of Brazilian music.
Boukas is composer-leader of Trio Brasileiro and Quarteto Moderno. His two most important Duo collaborations have been with Latin Grammy-nominated pianist-composer Jovino Santos Neto (formerly of Hermeto Pascoal Group) and Croatian tambura virtuoso Filip Novosel. These duos released the CD “Balaio” and CD/DVD “Live at St. Micheal’s” respectively. Richard’s other recordings as leader include “Amazôna,” “Embarcadero” and “Commitment“. He also produced “Tudo de Bom,” the comprehensive recording project dedicated to Hermeto Pascoal’s landmark collection, “Calendário do Som”.
Richard is also vocalist-percussionist-composer-arranger with Gary Morgan’s Panamericana Big Band since 2008.
A multifaceted artist-faculty member at New School Jazz and Contemporary Music since 1995 and former jazz faculty at Mannes College and William Paterson University, he founded and directs the Brazilian Jazz and Brazilian Choro ensembles. His courses at New School include Improvisation Ensembles, Ear Training, Guitar Sightreading, Jazz Vocal and Renaissance Choral Music. In 2010 he received the prestigious New School University Distinguished Teaching Award.
A four-time recipient of the NEA Grant in Jazz Performance, his many guest artist residencies include Harvard, Cornell, Lamont School of Music/Denver, Cincinnati Conservatory, Univ. Louisville, Univ. Toronto, Univ. Arizona/Tucson and National Guitar Workshop. In 2013-14 he produced and presented several concerts and lectures to commemorate the “Queens College Year of Brazil”.
Richard holds an MA in Composition from Queens College/Aaron Copland School of Music. Aside from his diverse Brazilian jazz repertoire, he has composed numerous commissioned chamber works for ensembles including La Catrina String Quartet, World String Orchestra of Berklee College, Modern Mandolin Quartet, Atlantic Brass Quintet and Lamont Saxophone Quartet. He has also composed an extensive body of solo Brazilian guitar music including the seven-movement “Guinga Suite” dedicated to the Brazilian guitarist-composer. His Brazilian Choral Project for Queens College Vocal Ensemble transforms the music of Milton Nascimento, Sérgio Santos, Guinga, Nazareth and Gnattali.
Apart from his artistic and academic work, he is a veteran Broadway and studio musician and endorsing artist-consultant for LaBella Strings.