Art NewsAt VIFreepSt. Thomas News

St. Thomas’ Rashawn Ross Makes An Impression Wherever He Goes

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Rashawn Ross posing with store owner

CAMDEN, New Jersey — When St. Thomas-born musician Rashawn Ross goes shopping for a new trumpet – people tend to notice.

He is – to put it delicately – hard to miss if you were to see him in public.

So when the Dave Matthews Band’s musical director and chief trumpeter needed a new instrument this summer, all of South Jersey was abuzz.

Ross was scheduled to play two weekend Susquehanna Bank Center shows earlier this summer and decided he needed a new horn from a Mantua music store.

Problem was, the store still didn’t have electricity from a fierce storm earlier in the week. But Coles Music Service, opened for Ross, 36, a full-time band member since 2006. The band formed in 1991.

In the dark Main Street shop, he tested two Bach Stradivarius 50th anniversary edition trumpets built with the specifications of the brand’s best components. While the instruments weren’t designed for Ross, the trumpets, which are not in mass production, were built for him, according to shop owner Lauralee Houghton.

Ross travels with at least eight trumpets, he said.

While appreciative music store employees looked on – he tested two, and purchased one that best fit his needs to play at the Camden waterfront venue that weekend after “storm Tuesday.”

The Dave Matthews Band played two long sets at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden that summer weekend.

If you want to see how Ross plays, please check out this Twitter feed of a classic performance.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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