Brooklyn born pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and educator Randolph Noel has released his second album as a leader, “Elements and Orbits”. His first album “Hands on the Plow”, as founder and director of the Brooklyn Arts Ensemble, was released in 2003.
Randolph’s work can also be heard on several of the late Abbey Lincoln’s Verve recordings: “You Gotta Pay the Band, “The Devil’s Got Your Tongue, “A Turtles Dream” and “Who Used to Dance”. He co-arranged the aforementioned “The Devil’s Got Your Tongue” and wrote the string arrangements for some of her most iconic compositions; “Down Here Below” and “Bird Alone”.
Randolph is also featured as pianist and arranger on the late Al Grey’s recording “Matzoh and Grits” (Arbors Records)
Randolph's career began in 1973, touring with soul legends Sam and Dave. Later concert performance experiences include Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Barry Harris, James Moody, Valerie Capers, and others. In 1985 he was hired to orchestrate and conduct “Bird Lives”, a concert tribute to Charlie Parker at Town Hall NYC, which featured James Moody, Lou Donaldson, and Barry Harry, along with winds and strings. There were subsequent performances of some of these orchestrations at the 1989 Atlanta Jazz Festival, featuring Charles McPherson and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Noel taught for 30+ years as a music teacher with the NYC Department of Education. During this time, he was happy to share his professional performance experiences with as many children as possible. This sharing included recording with Abbey Lincoln (The Devil’s Got Your Tongue) and subsequent tour in France. He was the founder of the Noel Singers/Brooklyn Youth Arts Ensemble, a 501c3 organization devoted to the vocal music development of youth via Jazz traditions. Mr. Noel also served as an adjunct professor at New Yok City Technical College and Bronx Community College where he taught courses in the history of Jazz, Western Classical Music, and Music of the Caribbean and South America.
Randy is grateful for years of study and mentorship with pianists Carmen Grey, Roland Hanna, Jan Gorbaty, Robert Jordan, Frina Arschanska Boldt, Cliff Smalls Sr., and Valerie Capers, vocalist Andrew Frierson, and studies in composition with Leo Smit and Pulitzer Prize winner Tania Leon.
Randy’s first piano lessons were at age five with his grandmother Alma Noel.