We were first graced with knowing Ryan Anthony back in 1993, when his career became inextricably intertwined with that of Canadian Brass. We had all first met when he was still in high school, already a known talent in California. 7 years later in 2000, when Ronnie Romm was leaving Canadian Brass after 30 years with the ensemble, Ryan was the obvious choice.
Within just a few weeks of touring with the group, we experienced the first of many displays of Ryan’s equanimity, composure and talent. We were all in the wings about to appear on Korean TV. Seeing the acts we were following and sensing the nature of the show was different than we had expected, Gene suggested “Virgen de la Macarena” would be a perfect fit.
We turned to Ryan and asked if he knew the solo. “I played it in high school!” he said with a smile. Within minutes we were on stage backing up Ryan’s jaw-dropping, unrehearsed and live TV performance for thousands of viewers of this incredible trumpet feature…all with his handsome Tom Hanks grin. In that moment we all got to witness just a flash of Ryan’s grace under pressure that would eclipse our mundane daily concerns.
Ryan always loved challenges, but it was his battle with cancer that brought this attitude to lofty heights. Thus was born the Ryan Anthony Foundation, and the Cancer Blows events, with the aim of improving cancer treatment outcomes and ultimately finding a cure. Just as Ryan included us in his performing career, he also included us in his heroic relationship to his life changing illness. It was a privilege for us to participate.
Ryan’s presence in our musical world is a blinding beacon of joy in music. Ryan, you embody this for us all. Your effervescent spirit will be missed, but because of how you lived with us we can summon it again and again. You will always be part of our lives,
Your Canadian Brass Family,
Gene, Chuck, Jeff, Joe, Jens, Ronnie, Mike, Brandon, Caleb & Achilles….
And your Opening Day colleagues MB, Dixon, Trey & Janina