Ron Oswanski - Scranton Jazz Festival | Jazz, Food, Spirits

Ron Oswanski

Phyllis Hopkins Blues Quartet
June 30, 2023
Steve Kurilla
June 30, 2023
Steve Kurilla
June 30, 2023
Phyllis Hopkins Blues Quartet
June 30, 2023
Ron Oswanski – Organ, Accordion, Piano
www.ronoswanski.com

Since entering the jazz big leagues in the early 1990s as a teenager recruited by Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band, Ron has collaborated with some of jazz’s most creative figures. He started serious piano studies as a child with Mark Kieswetter, an Ohio jazz legend whose credits include gigs with Zoot Sims, Jack Sheldon, James Moody, and a three-year stint as musical director for Jon Hendricks. At the same time, Oswanski got intimately familiar with the accordion, often performing with his father’s polka band.

Gigging widely as a precocious high school pianist, he received invaluable experience with numerous Cincinnati tri-state jazz veterans, including Jimmy Cook, Paul Keller, Pete Siers, Ernie Krivda and Brad Sharp, who all generously mentored him. As an electric bassist, he gigged widely with Toledo jazz piano stalwart Eddie Abrams. It was his love of bass lines that drew him to the mighty B-3, an instrument introduced to him by Bill Heid, a well-traveled organist who has earned a cult reputation among B-3 fans.

After winning numerous awards from the International Association of Jazz Educators, DownBeat magazine and an array of festivals, he earned a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with noted pianists Harold Danko and Garry Dial. In 1992, he got a call from Maynard Ferguson at the recommendation of Tim Ries, a friend since the older saxophonist took the junior high jazz head under his wing. He spent five years with Ferguson playing piano, keyboards and B-3, and managed to finish his undergraduate degree between international tours.

“Also, an accomplished accordion player, Oswanski has forged a lithe, lyrical and rhythmically charged contemporary sound steeped in the B3’s earthy roots but informed by post-bop developments. With his finely calibrated sense of dynamics and expansive harmonic palette, he can burn with the best of them, and then slow things down for an exquisitely crafted ballad.” www.allaboutjazz.com