REVIEW  Father-Son Team Blows Up a Storm by Michael Adamson    January 22, 2016  Barrie Ontario

Despite calamitous weather conditions hampering travel plans south of the border, pianist Rich Ridenour and his son, trumpeter Brandon Ridenour, arrived in Barrie in time to present an extremely entertaining evening of music to a packed and enthusiastic audience at Hi-Way Pentecostal Church on Saturday night in the Barrie Concerts series. Both bounded onto the stage and performed with an energy and lightness that belied the grueling journeys they had made to get here from Florida and New York.

The programme was highly varied and featured shorter numbers ranging from early classical to modern, broadway to movie to pop to jazz. Throughout the evening, Rich and Brandon took turns, as they introduced their selections, to light-heartedly tease each other (and the audience).

When the music started however, this in no way detracted from their amazing technical brilliance and musical insight. The trumpet is often thought of as brassy and militaristic but in the hands of Brandon Ridenour it became a lyrical instrument with a soft, silky sound. He is a consummate master. In 2006, he became the youngest person to join the famed Canadian Brass, has won numerous competitions, and has performed world-wide including at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre. Rich Ridenour is also a world-wide performer in his own right and is an international Steinway Artist. Both also arranged many of their programme items.

The evening started with Figaro's well-known aria from the Barber of Seville by Rossini in which the artists established their capability for beauty of tone, technical wizardry, sensitive musical phrasing and flexibility of performance partnership (ensemble playing). New wonders continued to unfold as they proceeded with pieces from Puccini, Ravel, Piazzolla, Bach, Bernstein.

In addition to the standard instrument, Brandon at times used a piccolo trumpet and a flugelhorn to vary the sound. A couple of times he put down his instrument and moved to the paino to join Rich in amusing 4-hands exhibitions. Part-way through each half he took a rest as Rich played arrangements from Gershwin and Joplin. At one point, he even sang a few lines and encouraged the audience to join him in the familiar Basin Street Blues.

No concert from a virtuoso trumpeter would be complete without the famous Carnival of Venice which closed the first half. Brandon dumbfounded listeners with his staggering technique as he executed feats of double- and triple-tonguing, causing the audience to rise for a spontaneous standing ovation at the conclusion.

However, what rendered the evening even more wondrous was the unassuming manner in which these artists held the audience spell-bound. It was an experience to treasure.

YouTube performances:

Brazil alla Eddy Duchin
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
**NEW**  America with Brandon Ridenour
Simple Gifts with Brandon Ridenour, trumpet



See the store for recordings!


See the store for arrangements by Rich Ridenour:

Amazing Grace and Simple Gifts for piano and trumpet

Gershwin Preludes for piano and trumpet

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue for piano and trumpet

Brazil for piano and orchestra

Billy Joel Rootbeer Rag for piano and orchestra

and much more....