Kenny Rittenhouse pursued his education in music, starting with a Bachelor's Degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1988. He furthered his academic journey by obtaining a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Maryland in 2006. Additionally, he pursued graduate studies in trumpet and jazz at the Eastman School of Music and Duquesne University, where he had the opportunity to study under the guidance of Roger Sherman from the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Kenny Rittenhouse's career as a performer has been marked by notable achievements and experiences. He served as a member of The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington, DC, from 1990 to 2020, being part of the prestigious premier band of the Army. During his tenure, he showcased his talent as a member of The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Ernie Andrews, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Rawls, Wycliff Gordon, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, and Sean Jones.
Rittenhouse's performance career extended beyond his military service. He was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed jazz flutist Hubert Laws and vocalist Kurt Elling. As a former member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, led by trumpeter Sean Jones, Rittenhouse had the privilege of performing alongside jazz legends including Jimmy Heath, Ahmad Jamal, and Freddy Cole.
Currently, Rittenhouse holds the position of Applied Trumpet Instructor at Morgan State University. Prior to his time at Morgan State, he taught Jazz Trumpet at George Mason University. Additionally, for over 25 years, Rittenhouse has led his own jazz quartet, collaborating with esteemed jazz artists such as Larry Willis, Ralph Peterson, Don Braden, Buck Hill, Steve Wilson, and Butch Warren. His group, known as the Kenny Rittenhouse Ensemble, is highly regarded for their dynamic performances in the Washington, DC area. They have played at renowned venues like Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, and Twins Jazz Club.
The Kenny Rittenhouse Ensemble has released two albums, "The Francis Suite" in 2006 (recorded as a sextet) and "New York Suite" in February 2013 (recorded as a septet). Their music showcases a blend of traditional straight ahead jazz with elements of Funk & R&B, presenting original compositions alongside bop/post bop styles. The ensemble prides itself on delivering high-energy performances, emphasizing the concept of "swing" and establishing a strong connection with the audience.