Rhythm & Brass


About Rhythm & Brass…

"Beyond Category" was a term the great Duke Ellington used as the highest form of praise for those artists who transcended normal boundaries. Since their inaugural season in 1993, Rhythm & Brass has lived up to the ideal of a musical presentation that is not bound by time, geography or culture. With the unique ability to incorporate influences as divergent as Josquin Des Prez, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane, Johann Sebastian Bach, and, of course, Duke Ellington, Rhythm & Brass searches for the commonality in these influences and fearlessly weaves them all into a single concert experience.

Rhythm & Brass, in addition to its standard concerts, has also performed at numerous special events including a 1994 New York concert debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with celebrated jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker. Commissions have been premiered at Chicago's Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic and the national convention of the Music Educator's National Conference. R&B has also been featured at the New York Brass Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, the Raphael Mendez Brass Institute, Kentucky's Great American Brass Band Festival, the National Trumpet Competition and the National Association of Music Merchants Convention in Los Angeles. Internationally, Rhythm & Brass has concertized in Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the Virgin Islands and Thailand. R&B will be featured at the 2010 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Sydney, Australia.

Song & Dance (1994), the group's first CD on d'Note Records, is an immensely versatile program of works from the 17th century composer Samuel Scheidt to the World Premiere recording of “Dance Suite” by Leonard Bernstein, his last composed work. Their second album, Time in September (1995), includes original jazz compositions by R&B members and features award winning guitarist Gene Bertoncini as well as a commissioned work by the Grammy Nominated composer Maria Schneider. Christmas Time is Here (1996) was hailed by the national press as one of the most creative recordings for the holiday season. R&B's recording More Money Jungle. . .Ellington Explorations (1998), on the KochJazz label, celebrates the centenary (1999) of one of America's most significant composers and musical ambassadors, Duke Ellington. The album was described by Entertainment Weekly as "...smart and deliciously off-centered..." and was named by the New York Times as "Album of the Week" (May 7, 1999). Rhythm & Brass has been featured on "BET on Jazz" (Black Entertainment Television) performing several segments of the Ellington album. Sitting in an English Garden Waiting for the Sun, is an outrageous salute to the British invasion and includes music by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin.  Rhythm & Brass most recently released “Inside the Blue Suitcase” featuring original compositions from within the group. 

The members of Rhythm & Brass maintain an active involvement in music education. The group is often found at major educators conferences and in residence at universities throughout the nation as well as summer music camps and festivals such as Bands of America and the Brevard Music Center. After several years of full-time touring together, the members of Rhythm & Brass have each found a home in various university music programs: Charles Villarrubia (tuba): Senior Lecturer in chamber music at the University of Texas—Austin; David Gluck (percussion): Chair of Studio Composition, State University of New York—Purchase; Alex Shuhan: Associate Professor of Horn, Ithaca College; Rex Richardson: Associate Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Trumpet, Virginia Commonwealth University; Tom Brantley; Associate Professor of Trombone, University of South Florida; Wiff Rudd: Professor of Trumpet/Brass Area Coordinator, Baylor University.

Rhythm & Brass is a Yamaha Performing Ensemble.

      Tom Brantley  David Gluck   Rex Richardson  Alex Shuhan   Wiff Rudd   Charles Villarrubia

              “...smart and deliciously off-centered.”  Entertainment Weekly

    “...intelligent spunk...music with high conceptual concept...startling without

                     striking a note of pretension...”  New York Times

            “...nothing short of stunning...”  American Record Guide