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Trumpeter Rick Braun is one of today's top "smooth jazz" musicians. But fans are sometimes surprised to learn that he first made a name for himself in the pop world.
Rick Braun has never sounded better. His latest album, All It Takes, combines his talent as a songwriter, arranger and producer, not to mention his impressive range on flugelhorn and trumpet.
For Rick, who grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, having an ear for jazz didn't mean instant success. He studied formally at the Eastman School of Music, while playing in a jazz fusion band called Auracle. When the group parted ways, he turned to songwriting, and delivered a Top 20 pop hit for rock band REO Speedwagon. His trumpet skills were also in demand by some of pop and rock's biggest names, including Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Tom Petty and WAR.
Rick returned to jazz with his debut solo album, Intimate Secrets, while continuing to work as a producer, composer and trumpeter for a handful of contemporary jazz greats.
At 54, Rick Braun looks back at his career with a touch of nostalgia. He says, "I'm feeling more grateful than ever that I am able to do something I love for a living."
His new album features a melody dedicated to his wife Christiane, as well as a tune inspired by the nightlife in Berlin, Germany. He also pays tribute to his musical hero, Freddie Hubbard, with "Freddie Was Here," and to bandleader Herb Alpert on "Tijuana Dance."