This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with trumpeter, composer and producer Rick Braun, performing (along with Richard Elliot) in the Chrome Showroom at the Santa Fe Station Hotel November 13. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Rick talks about his start in playing the trumpet, finding one left by his brother in the closet; attending the Eastman School of Music for a serious immersion in his future field; his mentors and the people he has encouraged; his professional relationship with saxophonist Richard Elliot; the wise advice given him by George Benson; the inspiration of Miles Davis (“know your limitations”); the “hot” set with a flugelhorn in Las Vegas; and honoring his father by playing at SteelStacks.
Rick Braun has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in this business. He has crafted his own distinctive sound and become a staple on contemporary jazz radio. He has produced No. 1 hits for David Benoit, Marc Antoine, and former Rod Stewart band sidekick, Jeff Golub. Braun achieved collaborative success on hits with Boney James, as a member of RnR with saxophonist Richard Elliot, and with BWB, a powerhouse trio completed by Grammy® winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. He has made a mark staying true to his own musical voice and eclectic influences that have allowed him to collaborate across genres with some of the biggest names in music, including Tina Turner, Tom Petty, Sade, Natalie Cole and REO Speedwagon.