My dad, Robert A. Dworsky (1925-1978) loved jazz, and introduced me to the music of Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim at an early age. Dad (left) is on the bongos, my brother Alan (center) is on the conga drum (and later in life Al wrote many books on Afro-Cuban and African percussion... see dancinghands.com). Richie (about age 8) is at the keys, and is still grimacing today when the groove gets hot .
Family Jam Session -1962
My mom Shirley (1926-2004) accompanies me on violin at age 9. Still in her apron, she left the kitchen to help me with my short -lived violin career. She and my dad were both amazingly supportive of my musical endeavors and I am immensely grateful to have had such wonderful parents.
Richie and Mom - 1962
I'm obviously posing for the camera. This posture is definitely not recommended, in case there are any young pianists out there viewing this photo!
Richie at the piano - Age 9 or 10
Richard Dworsky at the piano in MPR's Studio M
The composer at work
The Guys All-Star Shoe Band - 2001
The Guys All-Star Shoe Band - 2001
Garrison and Rich (in 1987) rehearse a song for A Prairie Home Companion which was broadcast on cable TV's The Disney Channel as well as public radio from February-June, 1987. Rich served as the pianist /arranger/band leader for that historic run.
Garrison Keillor and Richard Dworsky in 1987
The late, great Chet Atkins teaches me his song "I Still Can't Say Goodbye" for a show in 1987. It's a very sweet song about his dad, and Chet always put on his dad's hat when he sang it.
Chet Atkins and Richard Dworsky - 1987
Chet Atkins' colorful, long time manager George Lunn apparently dumbfounded at the order of names when Chet and I shared a dressing room at New York's Town Hall.
Who gets top billing?
Rehearsal with James Taylor at Tanglewood for our PHC show on 6/30/07. I’ve been a huge fan of James since 1971, so it was a dream come true to finally get to play with him. The Shoe Band and I accompanied him on 4 tunes on the show, and on several encores afterwards.
With James Taylor at Tanglewood (June 2007)
I had the huge thrill and pleasure of playing with Bonnie Raitt and her band when she appeared on PHC on 10/28/06.
Bonnie Raitt and Rich on PHC in Oct. 2006
The final scene on the set of Robert Altman’s film, "A Prairie Home Companion." Rich accompanies (from left) Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan as they sing “In the Sweet By and By." Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon © New Line Cinema
Accompanying Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, and Lindsay Lohan in the movie
Rehearsing a vocal part with the fabulous Meryl Streep on the set of Robert Altman’s “A Prairie Home Companion." (June, 2005) Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon © New Line Cinema
Rich and Meryl Streep rehearse
Between takes on the “Prairie Home” movie set with Kevin Kline. In college, Kevin made the difficult choice to focus on the dramatic arts rather than music, but he still has pianistic dreams. He really wanted to learn to play my “Guy Noir Theme," since he played Guy in the movie. So here I’m showing him some hip Noir voicings. Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon © New Line Cinema
Giving Kevin Kline a piano lesson
Robert Altman (far right with back to camera) directs the singing cowboys, Woody Harrelson (center) and John C. Reilly (right). Music director Richard Dworsky looks on and helps the guys with their harmony parts. Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon © New Line Cinema
Rehearsing with Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly
The dear, sweet, phenomenally gifted songwriter-singer-pianist Carole King appeared on our PHC show in Baltimore. IThe band and I had a blast accompanying her singing a duet version of “Natural Woman” (one of her many, many smash hits) along with soul singer Jearlyn Steele. By song’s end, Carole and Jearlyn had cranked up the soul fire to a burning heat and the audience went crazy!
Accompanying Carole King (10/13/07)
With the great Carole King backstage in Baltimore after her 10/13/07 appearance on PHC.
With Carole King backstage
Playing and directing the band with Country superstar Brad Paisley at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
with  Brad Paisley in 2012
with the always brilliant Elvis Costello after playing together at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, 2009.
with Elvis Costello
With the great Aaron Neville, backstage after I had the pleasure of accompanying him on our show at The Town Hall in New York, April 2013
with Aaron Neville,
April 2013
Mark Knopfler (on my right) and Emmy Lou Harris with the Guys All Star Shoe Band in Rochester, Minnesota after collaborating on PHC on April 22, 2006
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris with Rich and the band - PHC 2006
In addition to being the greatest cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma is equally as warm hearted, sweet, and generous as he is talented. In addition to his own material, and Renée Fleming's, he joined me on my cello/piano duet "A Toast to the New Year." What a thrill!!
With Yo-Yo Ma backstage after PHC, 12/13/08 in NYC
Sheryl Crow on PHC at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. A big thrill for me to accompany Sheryl on a bunch of her hits including "Strong Enough." A great sport and enthusiastic collaborator, Sheryl also sang on Garrison’s and my original tune, "The Sotomayor Salsa," a tribute to newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Then Sheryl participated in a humorous sketch about singles' ads where we improvised a song version of the ad (see photo). Huge fun!
With Sheryl Crow on PHC, 6/05/09

Backstage with the great Paul Shaffer at Town Hall in NYC after a PHC show together in Dec. 2013. We did a wild 4 hand piano version of Louie Louie together, until Paul left the piano position to finish singing the song on his knees, and eventually lying on the stage in push-up position.
With Paul Shaffer Dec. 2013
With the great singer / songwriter/ guitarist, Colin Hay (Men At Work) backstage in Flagstaff, AZ in 2014. The band and I got to accompany him. In 2013 I had the good fortune to accompany him at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
With Colin Hay May, 2014 on PHC
Backstage with the wonderful Keb Mo at Tanglewood after accompanying him on PHC. Always a joy to collaborate with this great, funky and soulful artist.
With Keb Mo, 2014
With the great and legendary violinst, Itzhak Perlman at Town Hall for PHC. He’s been on the show twice, joined the band for a Hanukah tune and I got to accompany him in a script as he sang (in a beautiful baritone) in a Guy Noir script. A jovial jokester backstage, he cracked a great bilingual pun. He saw me eating my special vegan dinner and started singing the Hebrew folk song "Hinei Mah Tov U’ Manayim," but changed it to "Hinei Ma Tofu Manayim."
With Itzhak Perlman, Dec. 2011
We always have a great time accompanying the brilliant British singer / songwriter/ guitarist, Nick Lowe.
With Nick Lowe, 11/29/14, Town Hall, NYC
Playing a duet on a Dylan tune with the wonderful young singer / picker / songwriter, Sarah Jarosz on PHC. Soon after this she joined us on a PHC cruise, a summer tour, and as a guest host along with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan.
With Sarah Jarosz, 11/07/15
With Kat Edmonson backstage after accompanying her on PHC. A great singer / songwriter and a sweetheart of a person.
With Kat Edmonson, 11/22/14
Accompanying Michael Feinstein on PHC at Town Hall, NYC. As well as a great singer and pianist, he’s an incomparable scholar and champion of the "Great American Songbook." I had the pleasure of playing with Mr. Keillor for a couple weeks at Michael’s New York Cabaret, "Feinsteins" in 2009.
Accompanying Michael Feinstein on PHC, 12/06/08
The finale of Prairie Home Companion’s 40th Anniversary show at Macalaster College in St. Paul, MN (where the show had its debut 1974). In addition to Garrison Keillor and Rich at the piano, pictured are: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Iris DeMent, The Wailin’ Jennys, Robin and Linda Williams, Butch Thompson, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Peter Ostroushko, Joe Newbery and many others.
Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary Show, July 5, 2014
Rich conducts the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on a humorous musical travelogue. PHC at U of M’s Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis.
Conducting the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, 4/26/14
Backstage with the wonderful singer / songwriter, Aoife O’Donovan on the Radio Romance Summer Tour, 2013.
With Aoife O’Donovan, Summer 2013
A special "headphones" pose with Sara Watkins on our PHC Summer Love Tour in 2010. A brilliant singer / fiddler / songwriter, fun travel companion on the bus, and eventual host and co-host of PHC on two occasions.
With Sara Watkins, Summer 2010
Hanging out after our Prairie Home broadcast from Edinburgh, Scotland in February 2000. The Guys All-Star Shoe Band; actors Sue Scott and Tim Russell; Sound Effects man Tom Keith; Soundman Sam Hudson; crew members Alan Frechtman, Russ Ringsak, and Andrea Murray.
The PHC clan in
Edinburgh, Scotland
My sister Sally made her first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in November, 1996 on a show called "The Richard Dworsky Piano Recital".
Sally and Richie on PHC
Richard Dworsky accompanies Taj Mahal on PHC - 1987
Richard Dworsky accompanies Taj Mahal on PHC - 1987
While in Berlin for a March, 2001 PHC show, The Guys All-Star Shoe Band did a special concert on Deutchland Radio broadcast from Berlin's famous jazz club, The A-Trane. After his own concert in another Berlin venue, trumpeter extraordinaire Wynton Marsalis (and some of his band mates) joined the Shoe band for a few tunes.
Wynton Marsalis and the Shoe Band - 2001
Fred Rogers attended one of PHC shows on Disney Channel in 1987. He sat in a box seat and I could see him rock back with laughter throughout the show. He was so sweet and complimentary after the show, and was the exact same gentle soul in person that he was on TV.
Rich with Mister (Fred) Rogers - 1987
Preparing for the August,1986 Prairie Home Companion broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand. Leo Kottke teaches me his tune "Little Beaver" which we performed as a duo (Big fun!). Leo had never realized how many times the time signature changed in that tune until he saw me chart it.
Leo Kottke and Richard Dworsky - 1986
I had the great good fortune to arrange, orchestrate and play keyboards for Indian vocalist, Mata Harbhajan Kaur Ji on two recordings in the early 1990s. Mata Ji sang English language translations of the spiritual poetry (ghazals) written by her late poet -Saint husband, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. As I had traveled with and studied meditation with Sant Darshan Singh, this was an especially fulfilling collaboration.
Richard Dworsky with Mata Harbhajan Kaur Ji
The legendary radio comedy team of (left to right) Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding joined us on one of the Disney shows. I played them on and off from the Hammond organ. Dad would've been so proud.
with Bob and Ray in 1987
Backstage after a show with the Turtle Island String Quartet. Three quarters of the quartet here (from left) Violist Danny Seidenberg; Violinists Darol Anger and Tracy Silverman; and me.
Hangin' with the Turtles
Rehearsing Al's sweet and ethereal background parts for a tune on my "Back to the Garden" CD.
With Al Jarreau in the studio in L.A. (1989)
Backstage at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles after Martin Sheen made his first spectacular guest actor appearance on PHC (6/09/07). Pictured (left to right) Rich, actor/film director Emilio Estevez and his dad, the great Martin Sheen.
Backstage with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez
I was fortunate to accompany the great actor and humanitarian, Martin Sheen in his public singing debut on our PHC show in St. Paul (9/27/07). He did a goofy Sinatra-esque bit in a comedic sketch. Then later, he sang a very beautiful and moving rendition of the Quaker hymn, “How Can I Keep From Singing", as a show of solidarity with the Buddhist monks struggling for reform in Burma. In this post-show photo op, Martin channels Sinatra.
Horsing around with Martin Sheen (the singer!!!)
Odetta was regarded as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement" and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called her "The Queen of American Folk Music." Bpb Dylan credits her as his inspiration to go into folk music. What an honor it was to accompany her on several occasions at New York's Town Hall along with her great keyboardist Seth Farber. Pictured here are Rich, Odetta, and PHC bassist Gary Raynor.
With Odetta backstage; PHC at Town Hall NYC 12/23/06
Rich accompanies the legendary mandolinist Uncle Jethro Burns and mandolinist Peter Ostroushko on A Prairie Home Companion in 1987.
Rich accompanies Uncle Jethro Burns on PHC - 1987

Greg Brown and Richard Dworsky on PHC - 1986
What a cool job I have. The only thing better than a front row center seat on Broadway is to stand 3 feet away from a great artist like Kristin Chenoweth as she pours her heart out on a tune from "The Apple Tree," accompanied by my good buddy Rob Fisher on piano. I then joined in on melodica for her joyous holiday tune "Come On, Ring Those Bells." PHC at Town Hall, NYC, 12/23/06
With Kristin Chenoweth
PHC in NYC, 2006
Sally Dworsky (my lil' sister) and Jearlyn Steele and the Shoe Band get down on Sam Cooke's "We're Havin' A Party " on Prairie Home Companion's New Year's Eve broadcast December 31, 2005
With Sally Dworsky and Jearlyn Steele - 2005
A Super-Hot expanded Guys All-Star Shoe Band playing at the Fitz in St. Paul for Prairie Home's New Year's Eve broadcast. From left: Butch Thompson - clarinet; Howard Levy - harmonica; Duke Heitger - trumpet; Gary Raynor - bass; Pat Donohue - guitar; Andy Stein - violin; the invisible Arnie Kinsella - drums; and yours truly signaling that the end is near.
Rich and the Super-Shoes 12/31/05
NBC Nightly News anchorman Brian Williams, Rich and Sandy Agustin (Intermedia Arts Gallery VIP) at the Prairie Home Companion Movie Premiere 5/03/06. Brian is a sweetheart of a guy, a huge PHC fan, and anchored the NBC Nightly News from St. Paul that night just to be part of the action. His daughter, Allison, was a Production intern on the movie.
with NBC's Brian Williams at the Movie Premiere
Renée Fleming is one of the greatest sopranos of our time. She also possesses a delightful musical curiosity and sense of adventure. I've had the honor and pleasure of accompanying her singing a French art song, jazz standards, Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" with a jazzy Scottish flair in the accompaniment, a Stephen Foster tune, and classic Christmas tunes with lyric rewrites by Mr. Keillor. She's great... and fearless.
With Renée Fleming backstage in NYC 12/13/08
Garrison and Rich perform a few tunes before toasting director Robert Altman at the Prairie Home Companion movie premiere party (5/03/06 at St. Paul's Landmark Center)
Garrison and Rich at the Premiere party
Sporting a beard for an upcoming film role, Kevin Kline (Guy Noir in the movie) hangs with Rich at the Prairie Home Companion movie premiere party.(5/03/06 at St. Paul's Landmark Center)
Kevin Kline and Rich at the Premiere Party
At a party following our movie screening at the Reykjavik Arts Festival ; May 2006. Left to Right : Valentine Judge; Deb Beck; Rich; John C. Reilly and his wife Allison; Sound effects wizard Fred Newman; and PHC actor Tim Russell.
With John C. Reilly in Reykjavik, Iceland
With The Wailin’ Jennys after our 10/28/06 Halloween PHC show. Left to right: Ruth Moody, PHC guitarist Pat Donohue, Nicky Mehta, Johann Sebastian Dworsky, Annabelle Chvostek.
Halloween with the Jennys, 2006
Nothing more fun than a bagful of wigs. Left to right: Nicky (Miss Havisham) Mehta, Richie Sebastian Bach, Ruth (pouting Little Orphan Annie) Moody, Annabelle(Cher) Chvostek, PHC bass player Gary (Creepy Las Vegas Guy) Raynor.
Halloween with the Jennys – Part 2
What an amazing band we had on New Year’s Eve 2006 at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for our live PHC show, broadcast as a PBS Great Performances Special. The Shoe Band was augmented by pickin' superstars Jerry Douglas (center) on Dobro; Sam Bush (right) on mandolin; and (not pictured) fiddler Stuart Duncan; and pedal steel player Buddy Emmons.
With Pickin' Monsters Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush
The Improved Guys All Star Shoe Band for a PHC show in Cincinnati. Pictured from left: Andy Stein (fiddle/sax), Rich Dworsky (piano/organ/bandleader), Pat Donohue ( guitar), The Wild Man himself, Sam Bush ( Mandolin /vocals), Gary Raynor (bass), and Pedal Steel Guitar Master Buddy Emmons. Not pictured: Arnie Kinsella (drums).
With Sam Bush and Buddy Emmons (PHC 11/25/06) in Cincinnati
Backstage with Randy Newman, the great film composer/singer- songwriter/pianist (at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles after our PHC show June 9, 2007)
Richard Dworsky with Randy Newman (6/09/07)
With the fabulous comedienne Paula Poundstone and her son, Thomas (Backstage at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles after our PHC show June 9 , 2007).
With Paula Poundstone (6/09/07)
Full page ad on the back of programs for Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for Fall, 2006.
Richard Dworsky / Steinway Artist
At the Greek Theater in Los Angeles (June, 2004) from left: Sound effects wizard Fred Newman, actors Tim Russell and Sue Scott, and Garrison Keillor. Rich supplies the underscore at the piano.
Prairie Home Companion Cast
My New York Philharmonic "debut" with Garrison's Holiday show. I played piano and supplied several arrangements, including a piano and strings arrangement of my original piece "So Near and Dear to Me." Wow! So much fun! Such incredible players!
New York Philharmonic Program (12/13/07)
Rich prepares charts for a show at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry Radio Show from 1943-74). Prairie Home associate producer, Stevie Beck, looks on from the shadows.
Rich at the Ryman Auditorium
Andy Stein and I after a New Year's Eve broadcast with members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Two Penguins
After our PHC broadcast from the RTE Studio in Dublin, Ireland in March 2000. From left: Flutist/singer extraordinaire Cathal McConnell; singer Valerie McManus; Richie; the late, great traditional Irish singer Frank Harte; and singer Big John McManus.
With Cathal McConnell in Ireland
Wayne Jackson and Rich in Kansas City for a show. Wayne on trumpet and Andrew Love on tenor sax (not pictured) are the Memphis Horns; and together they played on a million hit records by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Elvis and many others.
Rich and Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns)
This is Moshe Haim, an orphan baby mandrill monkey exploring the piano and looking into his soul. My dear cousin, Chana Rosenschein, who works with the animals at a zoo in Jerusalem, brought him home for the weekend, because one month old Moshe was too young to be left alone.
Monkeying around