Ravi H. Best is a New York City based jazz and commercial trumpet player who has performed domestically and internationally for over two decades. Most recently, he has been performing and touring with Steven Van Zandt and his Band, Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul, where he had the chance to play with Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. Ravi also spent two years touring with Kool & The Gang, as well performing in Ain't Too Proud, the Broadway show based on the life and times of the legendary soul group, The Temptations. Ravi began his musical journey while growing up in Southern California listening to his father's extensive jazz collection, and studying privately. When he was 16 years old, he had his first opportunity to tour the US and Europe playing with The Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, and the American Musical Ambassadors, all the while getting guidance and encouragement from trumpet master, Wynton Marsalis.
After high school, he matriculated at Howard University where he gained his BA in Music Therapy. While in college, Ravi was fortunate to study with three incredible trumpet players - Donald Byrd, Fred Irby III, and Professor William Fielder. During this time, he also played at The Kennedy Center in the musical Stardust, and performed and recorded with Jon Faddis. In his final year at Howard, Ravi was able to get his first touring gig with tenor sax legend, Illinois Jacquet. Mr. Jacquet asked Ravi to join his big band where Ravi toured and performed with greats such as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry, and Bill Clinton during his first inauguration.
Upon moving to New York City, Ravi then started playing around town with various artists such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Christina Aguilera, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, Barry White, The Roots, Boyz II Men, The Temptations, and The O'Jays. He gained his MA in Jazz Studies from New York University as well. He also began performing, touring, and recording with various bands like The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, Sam Rivers Rivbea Orchestra, David Murray's Big Band and Octet, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Ani DiFranco, and Michael Jackson - The Immortal World Tour.
Ravi can be heard on many recordings such as, Kenny Garrett's Pushing The World Away, Little Steve and The Disciples of Soul's Soulfire Live, David Byrne & St. Vincent's Love This Giant, David Murray Octet's Octet Plays Trane, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy's The Odyssey of Funk & Popular Music, Sam River's Rivbea Orchestra's Culmination, Ani DiFranco's Evolve & So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter, and Mya's Moodring. He also performed on the Broadway cast recordings of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, 42nd Street, Baby It's You, and Ain't Too Proud. Ravi has made several TV appearances as well throughout his career.
He has played several times in the Saturday Night live house band, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Today Show with Kool & The Gang, The Today Show with Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul, the American Music Awards with Queen Latifah, the MTV VMAs with Christina Aguilera, The Late Show with David Letterman with Rufus Wainwright, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with M. Ward, Good Morning America with Boyz II Men, The Rachel Ray Show with Tony Bennett and The Count Basie Orchestra, and The View. He's also been featured in a Foxwood Casino commercial. Recent TV credits include the Emmy Award winning live production of Jesus Christ Superstar starring John Legend, and HBO's Boardwalk Empire. In 2018, Ravi made his film debut in the Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell, with Ravi featured on the trumpet.
Ravi has also spent many years performing in the orchestras of several Broadway shows such as Annie, The Color Purple, Chicago, Sweet Charity, Anything Goes, 42nd Street, Swing!, On A Clear Day, Le Cage Aux Folles, Fela!, Baby It's You!, Come Fly With Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Kat & The Kings.
Ravi was on the faculty of the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Middle School Academy for several years, and has lead Music Therapy programs at Isabella Geriatric Center, St. Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital, and has taught privately for many years.
For more information on Ravi Best, go to 188.8.131.52.