Kenny Rittenhouse received a Bachelor’s Degree in music from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1988 and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Maryland in 2006. He also did graduate work on trumpet and in jazz at the Eastman School of Music, and at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where he studied with Roger Sherman of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Rittenhouse was a member of The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington, DC. from 1990-2020. This is the premier band of the Army. He performed with The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble. As member of the Army Blues, he has shared the stage alongside Ernie Andrews, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Rawls, Wycliff Gordon, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, and Sean Jones.
As a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, he has toured nationally and internationally with jazz flutist Hubert Laws and vocalist Kurt Elling. As a past member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra led by trumpeter Sean Jones, he has shared the stage with Jazz legends such as Jimmy Heath, Ahmad Jamal, and Freddy Cole.
Mr. Rittenhouse currently holds the Applied Trumpet Instructor position at Morgan State University. Before teaching at Morgan State, he taught Jazz Trumpet at George Mason University for the past 14 years.
For over 25 years Mr. Rittenhouse has led his own jazz quartet performing in and around the Washington, DC area with many great jazz artists including Larry Willis, Ralph Peterson, Don Braden, Buck Hill, and Steve Wilson, and Butch Warren. The Kenny Rittenhouse Ensemble is one of the hardest swinging jazz groups in the greater DC metro area. The group, under the direction of trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse, was formed several years ago and has appeared in such venues as Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, and Twins Jazz Club. The group recorded their first release (a sextet) in 2006 titled “The Francis Suite”. Their second release, recorded in February 2013 is titled “New York Suite”. It’s a hard swinging septet playing mostly original songs highlighting traditional straight ahead jazz with a bit of Funk & R&B in the mix.
The ensemble performs with intensity and fervor, focusing on the concept of “swing”, paying homage to the blue note recording artist of the 60’s. These gifted performers pride themselves on presenting bop/post bop styles and modern originals as well as establishing a report with their audience that few others produce.