Studio Musician and Trumpet Player Rick Baptist of Los Angeles, California began playing the trumpet when he was ten years of age. Rick Baptist recalls having aspirations of coming to Los Angeles from a very early age. When Rick was in the 5th grade his left lung collapsed while he was running track due to asthma (a condition that he still has). His family's physician at the time, Dr. Feldman, suggested that he take up a wind instrument to help build his lungs up. Rick selected the trumpet after watching Harry James play on Ed Sullivan's Show on Sunday's.
Rick began taking trumpet lessons in Oakland, California with Leo DeMers. Leo had Rick transpose the entire Arban's Complete Conservatory Trumpet Method within his trumpet lessons as Rick's goal at that time was to become an Orchestral Trumpet player. Rick's states that Leo was a great all around teacher and that he also had Rick acclimate to a Benge 5X Professional Model Bb Trumpet.
When Rick was twelve years old, he was playing with a large Latin band called "The Pan Americans." When Rick was fifteen, he was subbing in the Oakland as well as the San Francisco Symphony's. He was also taking private trumpet lessons with Juanito Silva and Vick Cress of the San Francisco Symphony. Rick states that his symphonic trumpet training has truly paid off in the studio work that he now does. Rick states, "I was playing all over San Francisco when in 1968, I was playing at the Club called "Mr. D's" in North Beach with Bobby Darin." His conductor Bob Rosario asked Rick to go to Reno with Bobby to work Harrah's Casino for 2 weeks. Rick accepted and went with Bobby Darin as his first trumpet player. Rick was 20 years old at the time and he spent two years at Harrah's Casino.
Studio Trumpet Player Rick Baptist of Los Angeles, California moved to Las Vegas in 1971 and stayed there until November of 1979. Rick's days in Las Vegas were fantastic, he was the first trumpet on the relief band in town (each hotel had a house band that would work 6 days and the Relief Band would do the seventh day, so they worked 6 different hotels each week and this gave Rick the opportunity to meet a lot of people and to get his name out there). Rick states, "I think I worked every act that came through Las Vegas. It afforded me the opportunity to meet great conductors like, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa and Peter Matz to name but a few. When I decided to move to Los Angeles, knowing those conductors helped me out a lot. Furthermore, I had been playing first trumpet with The Osmond's television show and they would fly me to Utah from Los Vegas on a weekly basis; that also helped get my name out there so to speak."
Rick moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and credits John Audino and Warren Luening with helping him get into the studio scene there. Rick states that it is not only very important to be a great all around trumpet player; one should also be a nice individual if they want to work. Being nice to others is a huge plus in terms of getting the jobs. Nobody wants to work with a jerk. Rick enjoys the opportunity to meet new trumpet players and introduce them to the Los Angeles music scene when he can. He was instrumental in helping Wayne Bergeron get into the studio scene in Los Angeles.
Studio Trumpet Player Rick Baptist stays very busy in the Los Angeles studio music scene. The rare days that Rick takes off from playing are the days he doesn't get called to work. Luckily, that does not happen too often. States Rick, "If I go more than 2 days without playing, I know I will be in trouble. In this town, you never know what you will have to play, so you better be ready for anything. There are a just a handful of guys that I work with every day in the studio scene. Sadly, for the younger guys, the playing opportunities are drying up because of work being outsourced and other economic factors."
The studio work pays so well that Rick rarely has time to do anything else. In addition to the union negotiated pay rates for recording dates, musicians gets royalties on all motion pictures (every July 1st he gets a royalty check from the Film Musicians Secondary Market Fund). All royalties are based on aftermarket profits not box office sales. Record dates royalties are paid through the Phonograph Special Payments Fund. This system is not based on recordings profits but on how many dates you actually play. Pay scales for motion pictures, television and jingles are national contracts. Regardless of where a musician lives in the United States, the scale for these venues is the same. These contracts are negotiated by the AFM.
In addition to staying extremely busy in the studio, Rick enjoys live show work such as is afforded on the television program "Dancing With The Stars" where he regularly performs with trumpet players Rob Schaer and Chris Gray. (Dancing With The Stars actually show cases the band and that is very nice in this day and age.) Rick would love to see more of this type of work become available for the younger players coming up.
Rick believes in what he calls the "Four C's" - Confidence, Concentration, Composure and Commitment. Rick states that Concentration is by far the most important thing there is for the studio musician. To prove that, think back to when you sight read a chart for the first time, you probably did not make a mistake because of your level of concentration. He also believes that development on the trumpet includes learning as much as possible from everyone and then making it your own by incorporating it into your own playing realm.
Studio Musician and Trumpet player Rick Baptist career in the Los Angeles studios reads like this; he has played on 1200 motion pictures, over 4000 cartoon shows, including Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and most of the Disney shows like Buzz Light Year, Timon and Pumba and many more. Rick plays all four trumpet parts on the popular Family Guy cartoons. He has played first trumpet on the Academy Awards (this year will be 30 years for the Academy Awards!), Emmy Awards and Oscars for over 25 years. Rick has played on over 50 Gold or Platinum records, Including: Sinatra's Duet 1 and 2, Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle albums, and Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album just to name a few. To see the magnitude of his work, one only has to click the CD Universe Link to see his discography!
Rick's first trumpet (which he still owns) was a Buescher with a Parduba Double Cup 5 mouthpiece. After about a year, Rick got a Benge 5X with a Bach 1.5C mouthpiece. Rick's current Schilke B5 Professional Model Bb trumpet was purchased in 1965! Rick absolutely loves all of his Schilke Trumpets. Within our conversation, Rick went on and on about the new Schilke Flugelhorn ... loves that horn as well as the Schilke P-7 Piccolo Trumpet.
Rick's trumpet mouthpiece was a 1970 Reeves copy of his Bach 3C with the rim made a little wider. Now, Rick is using a copy of that rim on a Steve Patrick mouthpiece bottom. Rick uses nothing but Schilke Model Professional Trumpets including his 1965 Schilke Model B5, a Schilke C Trumpet, a Schilke Eb Trumpet, a Schilke Flugelhorn, a Schilke Cornet and (two) Schilke Piccolo P-7 Trumpets. Rick uses Ultra Pure Valve Oils.