Research & Innovation

At VCUarts, we value research and innovation. As a student, you can forge your own path to success — however you choose to define it.

Research and innovation encompass a spectrum of creative approaches to the world, producing unexpected possibility. We value that experience — whether connecting arts to other fields of study or fostering disruption to existing patterns of behavior — and provide our faculty and students with the resources and support needed for success.


VCUarts provides grants and facilitates third-party grant opportunities.

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Rex Richardson

Professor, Music
DMA, MM, Louisiana State University
BA, Northwestern University

See Success Story

Critics have described Rex Richardson as “an artiste with an exceptional talent who has made a name for himself as one of the finest trumpet players in the world today.” He has become one of the busiest crossover trumpet virtuosos on the international scene. Since 1995, he has recorded and toured around the globe with the critically acclaimed ensemble Rhythm and Brass. He also toured internationally as a member of the late jazz legend Joe Henderson’s Quintet and with William Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble.

Grants, fellowships, awards:
  • Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts
  • Brass Herald International Personality of the Year
  • VCU School of the Arts Award of Excellence
Rex Richardson Quintet and Big Band Double Album Release

Richardson will soon release a new CD, Bugles Over Zagreb, with music composed and conducted by VCU Music Faculty Doug Richards and featuring the Croatian Radio and TV Jazz Orchestra. At the same time, Richardson will be releasing a CD collaboration with saxophone legend Steve Wilson (a VCU alumnus) on Summit Records.

What do you aim to achieve through your work?

“I love finding new sounds within the context of established formats, both as an improviser and a composer…that is, I love working with chromaticism within traditional harmony; what new dissonances could I create, and how do I resolve them? That being said, I think it would be presumptuous of me (or perhaps any musician) to think that what I find is entirely new; rather, it is simply new to me. And yet, when each of us is continually exploring, these new finds are always filtered through our unique musical personalities. In that sense, we all have the potential to be become innovators simply by being seekers.”