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Endre Rice

Jazz musician takes the spotlight at Augustana College

Endre Rice plays his trumpet around the world as a 19-year veteran of the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, often taking the role of featured soloist. Fortunately for student musicians, he also directs the college's Jazz Ensemble.

"As an instructor, it's my goal to draw from my professional experience, to equip my students with the necessary tools to rehearse and perform as professional musicians," he said. "And it's my hope that the experience I give my students is both challenging and inspiring."

On tour with the Count Basie Orchestra, Rice has performed in more than 40 countries, including multiple performances at Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, the Hollywood Bowl and on Broadway. His performance credits include playing lead trumpet with Al Jarreau, Aretha Franklin and Rubin Studdard, as well as Tony Award-winners Audra McDonald, Lillias White and Andrea McArdle.

Rice set his sights on the Count Basie Orchestra at a young age, and said he learned a lot by working toward that goal. He listened to mentors, beginning with classmates and band directors, all the way through college to a master's in jazz studies, and with his bandmates on the professional circuit. He devoted himself to practice and study, and pursued opportunities that came his way. 

For the past 25 years, he also devoted his time to jazz education by conducting clinics and master classes throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Arriving at Augustana as an adjunct instructor and director of jazz studies, he said, was a perfect fit.

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