RICKY BRATHWAITE, a trumpet and Flugel Horn player/Arranger/Producer/Director and Part-Time College Tutor, began his musical career at the age of 12 growing up in the Salvation Army church, where his parents played in the church band. He played the kettle drum in the church band, but soon grew to like the sound of the Trumpet. He would try to produce notes on it any time his parents made the mistake of leaving it within his reach at home. Before long he taught himself to play simple Major Scales to the amazement of his mother Elaine Brathwaite, who is also an avid horn player, and his late father Kenrick Barnett who was the Salvation Army=s Director of Music for the Caribbean region.
Ricky went on at the age of 15 to join the Royal Barbados Police Force Band as a Band Apprentice, having been recommended by the present Director of Music, Dr. Christopher Atherley. He resigned after two and a half years service and migrated to Canada where he performed and toured the Province of Quebec for 3 years with the popular Barbadian band
He returned home for a short while before setting off, this time, to Germany for another three-year stint with another group called Rhapsody, comprising of mainly Caribbean musicians. There he toured extensively with the band playing for extremely large audiences at well known venues such as: The ARosen Garden - Mannheim; Quazi Moto Jazz Club - Berlin; and various other clubs throughout West Germany.
After this stint ended it was back to Barbados once again. This time, Ricky was Lead trumpeter and Musical Director with one of the leading local tents of the annual festival -- AGabby=s Battleground Calypso Tent@-- from 1981 to 1988. His talents in other areas however were to surface this time as the main arranger for that Tent -- his very first arrangements being AStinging Bees@ and AGabby=s Controversy by the Mighty Grynner in 1984. Having a close relationship with Gabby led to an association with, international superstar, Eddy Grant which allowed him to do most of the horn arrangements and play on just about every recording coming out of the Internationally known Blue Wave Studios, St. Philip.
MOST RECOGNIZED LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS:
STINGING BEES (1984) Grynner
GABBY=S CONTROVERSY (1984) Grynner
SOUSIE (1985) Director
THEY WANT TO KNOW (1987) Bumba
BOW WOW WOW (1988) Carew
WIND FORCE (1989) Gabby
DE POSTER (1990) Holly
DAMAGE (1992) Observer
ESTHERLYN (1997) Alfred Pragnell
COME FUH DE WHOLE DAY (2004) Smokey Burke
Brathwaite also recorded and produced his own compositions as a lead vocalist:
1) *XMAS TIME (1983)
2) WHERE ARE YOUR ROOTS (1990)
3) SOCA CHA CHA (1990)
4) PLAY MAS (1991)
5) HOPPING MAD (1990)
NB: All calypsos except *
Ricky thought he would go a step further in his musical career. He, therefore, chose to put his arranging for Caribbean artistes on hold while he pursued a degree in Music. He graduated in June, 1993 from (LIU) Long Island University, New York, U.S.A. with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Liberal Arts and Music. He made the Dean's List every single semester for the entire 5 years of study. He was awarded a full 4-year scholarship, including private studies, with any tutor of his choice for his final two years of study at L.I.U. He chose to study privately with trumpeters Jon Faddis -- a high-note specialist and Jimmy Owens for improvisation and phrasing. He also studied harmony with pianist Bruce Bahr -- a member of the internationally acclaimed Trumpeter, Terrence Blanchard's band. In addition to private studies, Ricky participated in master classes at L.I.U. conducted by famous saxophonists Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson and trombonist, Sligh Hampton, along with many other well known Jazz musicians.
INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN ARTISTES STUDIED PRIVATELY WITH
JAZZ TRUMPET Mr. Jimmy Owens
LEAD TRUMPET Mr. Jon Faddis
JAZZ PIANO Mr. Bruce Bahr
CLASSICAL PIANO Dr. Marta Ghezzo (Russian)
While studying in the U.S.A. Ricky toured and played with popular Caribbean Artists like: Arrow of AFeeling Hot Hot Hot fame (whom he also recorded with for 4 years) Crazy; Barron; Sparrow; Byron Lee; Ajamu; Chalk Dust; Frankie Mc Intosh and Leston Paul to name a few of the big names in Caribbean music.
Ricky's most memorable touring experiences were: (1) touring Morocco, Africa, with Arrow to King Houssein=s Palace for his 1992 Old Year=s Night private party; (2) a two week tour to Paris, France, with the popular Martiniquan Orchestra AMalavoi, performing for over 50 thousand people; and touring Columbia for one week with the Barbadian group Savage, performing for about 80 thousand people inside of an open-air bull-ring. According to Ricky, ..."those gigs clearly demonstrated what production was all about".
LIST OF BARBADOS AWARDS
Top Trumpeter of the year (Advocate News Paper - 1987)
Top Arranger of the year (Advocate News Paper - 1987)
Top Horn Player (M.E.G.O.B - 1988) Musicians & Entertainers Guild of Barbados.
Contribution to Crop-Over (NCF - 1992) National Cultural Foundation
Development of Barbadian Music (NCF - 1997) National Cultural Foundation
DIRECTING/CONDUCTING EXPERIENCE (B'dos)
GABBY=S BATTLE GROUND CALYPSO TENT 1981 - 1988
GABBY IN CONCERT 1989
CARLYN LEACOCK IN CONCERT 1988 & 1989
SIR. GARFIELD SOBERS BENEFIT CONCERT 1994
GABBY THE CONCERT 1996
Ricky, the always reaching for the stars type of individual, did not see performing as his only way of contributing to the music industry. He decided to get into the business side of things. He was employed as the Production Director of the Recording Company, Rainbow WIRL Music Incorporated in 1994, until its closure in 1995. He is presently a part-time music tutor at the Barbados Community College, and was the Music Co-Ordinator/Director of 104.1 Yess Fm. and Voice of Barbados (V.O.B), both subsidiaries of Barbados Rediffusion Service Ltd, presently Starcom Net work Inc.. He is a former member of the Barbados Festival Band being a member from 1985 - 1999. He has recently resigned his position as Director of Entertainment for the prestigious Almond Beach Resorts Inc., which he held for 9 years to continue his career as a solo performing artiste.
Ricky Brathwaite made his country, Barbados, proud when he appeared as the opening act for the internationally known Miss. Patti Labelle for the Barbados Paint It Jazz 1997 Jazz Festival. Internationally renowned Miss. Roberta Flack, who was also in attendance, hailed Ricky in a subsequent Local News Broadcast as being extremely talented and very skilled on the trumpet. Ricky recently created more waves on November 1, 1997 when he appeared in a two day local Jazz festival labeled AYOUNG JAZZ 2", which featured an all-star line up of top musicians from the Caribbean. He has since shared the stage with other Internationally acclaimed acts such as ABoyz 11 Men and Brian Mc Knight, Arturo Sandoval etc… Brathwaite has released his second, long overdue, solo trumpet album entitled “Sunflower” for which he is the Executive Producer. The entire CD was recorded in his home studio “Palm Tree Recording Studio”. Internationally acclaimed, Eddy Grant is the executive producer of his first CD entitled “Super Saf”.
122 HUSBANDS HEIGHTS, ST. JAMES, BARBADOS.
TEL: (246) 425-9474 FAX: (246) 425-9474 or (246) 231-2491