Richard first played trombone at Bushey Grammar School near Watford in 1962. After five years classical training he ventured into the London jazz scene and experienced playing alongside Humphrey Lyttelton, Acker Bilk, Ken Colyer, Terry Lightfoot, Johnny Dankworth and many others.
He led his own Northside Jazz band for 26 years with top names such as George Webb, Harry Gold, Joe Daniels, John Bastable, Bruce Turner, Beryl Bryden, Roy Williams and Digby Fairweather all guesting with the band.
In 1998 Richard turned to jazz professionally for a third time and joined the Pete Allen Jazz Band touring Europe and the UK for the next six years.
After parting company with Pete Allen in September 2004 Richard channelled his efforts into a new band, Richard Leach’s 7 Stars of Jazz, formed the previous year and making a large impact on the UK jazz club and festival scene.
Richard Leach’s Clubhouse 5 is another of Richard’s ventures. This is a drummerless quintet that tours the Midlands jazz clubs and plays mainly Classic jazz from the early 20th century.
An exciting new project for Richard is Slide By Slide, the idea of fellow trombonist Kevin Grenfell. With the backing of a high-class rhythm section including some of Britain’s top musicians Slide By Slide is a trombone duo playing a diverse repertoire from show songs and ballads to jazz of varying styles and contemporary tunes.
Richard is also the regular trombonist with Chris Pearce's Frenchmen Street Jazz Band, a band that has filled some of the void left in the jazz scene by the successful and hugely popular Antique Six Jazz Band following their Farewell Concert at the end of 2011.
Although the aforementioned bands occupy a lot of Richard’s playing time he still greatly enjoys freelancing with other bands, giving him the opportunity to play different styles of jazz.