Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Yamaha Artist Rex Richardson has become one of the busiest crossover trumpet artists in the world. Since 1995, he has recorded and toured around the globe with the critically acclaimed Rhythm & Brass, an ensemble with a reputation as one of the finest brass groups in North America. Richardson also toured North America and Japan as a member of the late jazz legend Joe Henderson’s Quintet and Sextet, and Europe with William Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble. He has served since 1997 as fluegelhornist, solo cornet and jazz soloist with the Brass Band of Battle Creek.
Richardson has worked with such artists as Benny Carter, Ray Charles, Kurt Elling, Carl Fontana, Nnenna Freelon, Aretha Franklin, Wycliffe Gordon, Stefon Harris, Dave Holland, Keith Lockhart, Christian McBride, Jimmy Owens, Bobby Shew, Al Vizzutti, Bill Watrous, Gerald Wilson, Boston Brass, Millennium Brass, and countless others
In recent years Richardson has become increasingly active as a jazz and classical soloist. He has appeared as a guest artist with dozens of important ensembles throughout the world, including the symphony orchestras of Guangzhou (China), Tokyo and Osaka (Japan), Phoenix, Omaha, Rochester, Syracuse, and Oregon; the Orchestra Academic Baskent (Turkey), the Melbourne New Orchestra (Australia), the U.S. Navy Band and Orchestra in Washington, D.C.; the Athens (Greece) Jazz Orchestra, the Sydney (Australia) All Stars Big Band, the Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble, the Brisbane Excelsior Brass Band (national champions of Australia), and many others.
He was the “headline”artist for the Australia Trumpet Guild’s 2004 Conference in Sydney and a featured soloist and recitalist at the 2005 and 2006 Melbourne International Festivals of Brass. He was the international guest artist for London’s Trinity College 2006 Brass Festival. He has appeared at conferences and jazz festivals on four continents, and has given recitals and masterclasses at the Xinghai Conservatory in China, the University of Melbourne and the Sydney Conservatory in Australia, the University of Thessaloniki (Greece), the Royal Northern College of Music (England), the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.
Richardson has gained a reputation as a champion of new music. His debut classical CD entitled Masks, featuring all-new virtuoso trumpet music by American composers, was released on Summit Records in 2005 and has received rave reviews in U.S. and United Kingdom publications. A reviewer of Masks wrote that Rex Richardson is a phenomenal player, equally at home in modern jazz and classical contexts, with a virtuosic style that alloys emotional clarity with precision, and praised Rex’s assured acrobatic grace and brilliant individuality. (Style Weekly, 2005) He has been featured on dozens of recordings and has released three jazz projects as a leader for the IGMOD, D’note, and Summit labels.
Richardson commissioned a concerto for trumpet and string orchestra by composer Dana Wilson, which he presented in its world premiere performances in Ankara, Turkey at the 2005 International Trumpet Festival and in Melbourne, Australia at the 2005 International Festival of Brass. He gave the Chinese premiere of Wilson's Leader Lieder Concerto with the Xiamen Philharmonic in August of 2006.
Rex Richardson is the professor of trumpet and jazz trumpet at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds degrees in anthropology and music from Northwestern University and Louisiana State University. He has served on the faculties of Loyola University, Columbia College Chicago, and Delgado Community College and as visiting professor at Ithaca College. In 1995 he was honored in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll as one of nine trumpeters deserving wider recognition.