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Kenny Rittenhouse

Kenny Rittenhouse received a Bachelor’s Degree in music from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1988 and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Maryland in 2006. He also did graduate work on trumpet and in jazz at the Eastman School of Music, and at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where he studied with Roger Sherman of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Since 1990 Mr. Rittenhouse has been a member of The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington, DC., the premier band of the Army, and currently performs with The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble. As member of the Army Blues, he has shared the stage alongside Ernie Andrews, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Rawls, Wycliff Gordon, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, and Sean Jones. As a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, he has toured nationally and internationally with jazz flutist Hubert Laws and vocalist Kurt Elling. As a past member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra led by trumpeter Sean Jones, he has shared the stage with Jazz legends such as Jimmy Heath, Ahmad Jamal, and Freddy Cole. ​ Mr. Rittenhouse currently holds the Applied Trumpet Instructor position at Morgan State University. Before teaching at Morgan State, he taught Jazz Trumpet at George Mason University for the past 14 years. For over 25 years Mr. Rittenhouse has led his own jazz quartet performing in and around the Washington, DC area with many great jazz artists including Larry Willis, Ralph Peterson, Don Braden, Buck Hill, and Steve Wilson, and Butch Warren. The Kenny Rittenhouse Ensemble is one of the hardest swinging jazz groups in the greater DC metro area. The group, under the direction of trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse, was formed several years ago and has appeared in such venues as Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, and Twins Jazz Club. The group recorded their first release (a sextet) in 2006 titled “The Francis Suite”. Their second release, recorded in February 2013 is titled “New York Suite”. It’s a hard swinging septet playing mostly original songs highlighting traditional straight ahead jazz with a bit of Funk & R&B in the mix. The ensemble performs with intensity and fervor, focusing on the concept of “swing”, paying homage to the blue note recording artist of the 60’s. These gifted performers pride themselves on presenting bop/post bop styles and modern originals as well as establishing a report with their audience that few others produce.


Album Review

Leigh Pilzer: Beatin' the Odds

Read "Beatin' the Odds" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Beatin' the Odds. To baritone saxophonist Leigh Pilzer, that is far more than a catchphrase: it is a grim yet ultimately happy reality. In 2017, Pilzer was diagnosed with cancer. After extensive treatments, her odds of surviving more than five years were reckoned as around thirty percent. But six years have gone by, and not only has Pilzer beaten the odds, she is cancer-free, back in the saddle and performing again. And not only performing but writing ...

Album Review

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra: Bernstein Reimagined

Read "Bernstein Reimagined" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This impressive anthology by the superb Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra is not so much Bernstein Reimagined as Bernstein Unleashed. The jazz component in Leonard Bernstein's memorable compositions for symphony orchestra, Broadway shows, films and even liturgical works always lay simmering just below the surface. As Bernstein is said to have confided to Duke Ellington: “Maybe that's really the difference between us. You write symphonic jazz, and I write jazz symphonies." However credible the remark, there is no doubt that the ...

Album Review

Kenny Rittenhouse: The Francis Suite

Read "The Francis Suite" reviewed by John Barron

When a musician is willing to completely bare his soul to the world, unhampered by thoughts of criticism, the resulting sounds can be refreshingly optimistic and should be regarded as an honest artistic representation of the human experience. Without a hint of restraint, Washington, DC trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse celebrates the blessings of his life on The Francis Suite, a highly personal, modern jazz tribute to his family.

The title of the disc refers to Rittenhouse's four-movement suite dedicated to his ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Beatin' the Odds

Self Produced


Sack Full of Dreams

Self Produced


New York Suite

Unknown label


The Francis Suite

Self Produced


Dream With Me

From: Bernstein Reimagined
By Kenny Rittenhouse

Kaela's Song (New York Suite II)

From: New York Suite
By Kenny Rittenhouse


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