Born: December 11, 1961 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Rich is well known as a very powerful, very exciting, and high energy lead trumpet player, featured soloist, who is equally adept at gorgeous, soft, beautiful trumpet or flugelhorn lyrical concert settings, or soaring over the top of the band or orchestra on a power ballad in the Maynard Ferguson style. He is often a featured soloist for many top local and regional bands as well. Rich is also a top call contractor for both national and international acts for string and horn sections for some of the biggest names in the business at major venues.
Wetzel grew up in Garden Grove, CA, near Anaheim and Los Angeles, where on more occasions than you could count, you could go see the great jazz orchestras of people like Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Stan Kenton, and more.
He has played trumpet for and personally put together horn sections for groups such as The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Spinners, The Platters, The Ojays, Al Martino, Wayne Newton, and many more. Wetzel has that Ferguson stratospheric sound, and leads his amazing group on a stellar rendition of all these styles.
He is an amazing trumpet player who is rapidly becoming a star in the jazz world, along with one of the most exciting bands anywhere, Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra.
Wayne Newton The Ojays The Four Tops The Temptations The Spinners The Coasters The Platters Smokey Robinson Al Martino Charo Legends In Concert Bobby Arvon Domenik Allen Stonebridge Richard Streets' Temptations Tribute Rick Michels Rat Pack Tribute El Chicano Lee Oskar Si Zentner Big Band Ian Finkel and Elliott Finkel Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Holland America Cruise Line Celebrity Cruise Line The US Army Band
As well as various top Seattle and LA local bands, shows, theaters, concerts, casinos, recordings, etc... Soloist, guest star, clinician, and leader of his own fabulous group, Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra!
Gigs Desired / Availability / Experience
Featured with his band, as a guest star with yours, or as a clinician. Contractor for horn and string sections, for national and international acts, star shows. Rich has played lead trumpet and contracted for the biggest names in the business. Lead trumpet for Big Band, Swing, Shows, Theater, Studio, Pop, Rock, Motown, Variety Shows, Concerts, Recording Sessions, Commercial Trumpet Material.
Quotes and Endorsements:
Ian Finkel (World renowned xylophone virtuoso and former trumpet player) latin jazz big band leader,You really have great feel, style, time, a HUGE sound, and great high note chops. Solid lead trumpet player, a pleasure to work with
Walt Johnson (Formerly lead trumpet for Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Barbara Streisand, Henry Mancini,etc) nice double high c, exciting player
Kevin England (Prominent Seattle jazz player, goes on to say) and the sensitivity to know when to use it
Puget Sound Symphonic Orchestra performance of the Messiah, outstanding work as the 1st trumpet for this demanding concert, You sound great in an orchestral setting as well, thank you for playing with us.
Wayne Bergeron (Los Angeles based studio recording artist, renowned lead and feature trumpet player) you played your ass off, sounded great - solid chops
Arturo Sandoval (World famous trumpet artist) places Rich Wetzel's name on a premier list of influential trumpet players! Wow, praise from Gabriel! Now there's an endorsement!
Smokey Robinson, Wayne Newton, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Rich has received numerous accolades for his playing and the outstanding horn and string sections (back up orchestras) he put together for their shows. Rich is always a top call player and contractor for national and international stars when they are in Seattle.
Rich Wetzel is a available as a Bach clinician and performer for school and youth-group music programs. He plays the Bach Stradivarius 182 trumpet exclusively.
Awards:Featured articles and interviews, Jazz Improv, LA Jazz Scene, The Brass Herald, magazines.
Mark Lynn, ITG Journal, June 2009
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Rich Wetzel is available as a Bach, Conn-Selmer trumpet clinician usually working with high school and college jazz ensembles or with all ages at open clinic events. The focus of the clinic is proper techniques for maximum results with regard to range, sound, and over all playing.