Rich is well known as a very powerful, very exciting,
and high energy lead trumpet player, featured soloist, who is equally adept at gorgeous, soft,
beautiful trumpet or flugelhorn lyrical concert settings, or soaring over the top of the
band or orchestra on a
power ballad in the Maynard Ferguson style. He is often a featured soloist for
many top local and regional bands as well. Rich is also a
top call contractor for both national and
international acts for string and horn sections for some of the biggest names in
the business at major venues.
Wetzel grew up in Garden Grove, CA, near Anaheim and Los Angeles, where on more occasions than you could count, you could go see the great jazz orchestras of people like Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Stan Kenton, and more.
He has played trumpet for and personally put together horn sections for groups such as The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Spinners, The Platters, The Ojays, Al Martino, Wayne Newton, and many more. Wetzel has that Ferguson stratospheric sound, and leads his amazing group on a stellar rendition of all these styles.
He is an amazing trumpet player who is rapidly becoming a star in the jazz world, along with one of the most exciting bands anywhere, Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra.
The Four Tops
Al Martino Charo
Legends In Concert
Richard Streets' Temptations Tribute
Rick Michels Rat Pack Tribute
Si Zentner Big Band
Ian Finkel and Elliott Finkel
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Holland America Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruise Line
The US Army Band
As well as various top Seattle and LA local bands, shows, theaters,
concerts, casinos, recordings, etc... Soloist, guest star, clinician,
and leader of his own fabulous group, Rich Wetzel and his Groovin
Higher Jazz Orchestra!
Gigs Desired / Availability / Experience
Featured with his band, as a guest star with yours, or as a clinician.
Contractor for horn and string sections, for national and international acts, star shows.
Rich has played lead trumpet and contracted for the biggest names in the business.
Lead trumpet for Big Band, Swing, Shows, Theater, Studio, Pop, Rock, Motown, Variety Shows, Concerts, Recording Sessions, Commercial Trumpet Material.
Quotes and Endorsements:
Ian Finkel (World renowned xylophone virtuoso and former trumpet player) latin jazz big band leader,"You really have great feel, style, time, a HUGE sound, and great high note chops. Solid lead trumpet player, a pleasure to work with"
Walt Johnson (Formerly lead trumpet for Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Barbara Streisand, Henry Mancini,etc) "nice double high c, exciting player"
Kevin England (Prominent Seattle jazz player, goes on to say) "and the sensitivity to know when to use it"
Puget Sound Symphonic Orchestra performance of the Messiah, "outstanding work as the 1st trumpet for this demanding concert", "You sound great in an orchestral setting as well, thank you for playing with us".
Wayne Bergeron (Los Angeles based studio recording artist, renowned lead and feature trumpet player) "you played your ass off, sounded great - solid chops"
Arturo Sandoval (World famous trumpet artist) places Rich Wetzel's name on a premier list of influential trumpet players! Wow, praise from Gabriel! Now there's an endorsement!
Smokey Robinson, Wayne Newton, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Rich has received numerous accolades for his playing and the outstanding horn and string sections (back up orchestras) he put together for their shows. Rich is always a top call player and contractor for national and international stars when they are in Seattle.
Rich Wetzel is a available as a Bach clinician and performer for school and youth-group music programs. He plays the Bach Artisan trumpet exclusively.