Richard Twardzik

Richard Henryk Twardzik (April 30, 1931 – October 21, 1955) was an American jazz pianist who worked in Boston for most of his career.

Twardzik trained in classical piano as a child and made his professional debut at the age of fourteen. He was taught by Margaret Chaloff, the mother of baritone saxophone player Serge Chaloff. Twardzik recorded with Serge Chaloff and with Charlie Mariano. He worked with Charlie Parker on several occasions toward the end of Parker’s life. Twardzik also played professionally with Chet Baker and Lionel Hampton. He recorded with Baker and Chaloff in 1954 and 1955.

In his teenage years, Twardzik became addicted to heroin. He died from a heroin overdose, while on tour with Chet Baker in Europe.

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