Hailed as “An artiste with an exceptional talent who has made a name for himself as one of the finest trumpet players in the world today,” (4barsrest.com, in a review of a concerto appearance in London). Yamaha performing artist Rex Richardson was named the 2008 Brass Herald Personality of the Year. Since 1995, he has recorded and toured around the globe with the critically acclaimed ensemble Rhythm & Brass. He also toured internationally as a member of the late jazz legend, Joe Henderson’s Quintet and in Europe with William Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Since 1997, he has served as jazz soloist, soprano cornet and flugelhorn with the world famous Brass Band of Battle Creek, known as “The Rolls Royce of Brass Bands” (Brass Band World, 2007). He has worked with countless celebrity artists in multiple genres, developing a unique reputation in the trumpet world for his combination of singular virtuosity, a highly personal style, and an emphasis on improvisation in classical as well as jazz idioms.
In recent years, Richardson has become increasingly active as a soloist. In 2007 alone, he appeared as a featured guest soloist at the National Trumpet Competition, the ITG Conference, the Masters International Brass Band Championships in Cambridge, the Regent Hall Brass Arts Festival in London, and the Stars of Brass Festival in Brisbane, Australia. He has appeared as a guest artist with dozens of important ensembles throughout the world, ranging from top symphony orchestras in Slovenia and China, to all-star big bands in Greece and Australia, to world champion English and Belgian brass bands. Recent highlights include a concerto performance at Chicago’s dazzling new Millennium Park concert venue; a residency at the Jazz Institute in Graz, Austria; and an appearance as featured soloist (premiering Meechan’s Trumpet Concerto, composed for Rex) at the Royal Northern College of Music Brass Festival in Manchester, England.
Richardson has gained a reputation as a champion of new music, premiering chamber works and concertos around the world. He presented the Chinese premiere of Dana Wilson’s Leader Lieder Concerto in 2006. He also presented the Australian, Turkish, American, Canadian and International Trumpet Guild Conference premieres of Wilson’s Concerto for Trumpet and String Orchestra (composed for Richardson) between 2005 and 2008. In 2009, he presented the Louisiana and Michigan premieres of Stephen Paulus’ Double Trumpet Concerto with Allen Vizzutti and Vince DiMartino. He will record the Meechan Concerto in London in spring of 2010.
A reviewer of his classical CD "Masks" (Summit Records, 2005) wrote that “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). A reviewer of his CD “Jazz Upstairs: Live at the GuruBar” wrote, “Richardson displays dazzling technique and an abundance of ideas. He has a well-conceived approach to phrasing and solos with fiery determination. Stylistically, he is able to move effortlessly from blues-based bebop to more harmonically adventurous lines…(this recording) serves as a wonderful introduction to anyone not yet familiar with Richardson’s amazing talent” (jazzreview.com).
Richardson has served as Artist in Residence at London’s Trinity College of Music since 2006 and has been the Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Trumpet at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2002.