Ron’s parents recognized their sons exceptional talent for music at a young age. At age 5 he began piano lessons, and was winning competitions a year later. At age 9 Ron began playing with his fathers Polka band, The Music Factory. He also began jazz studies under pianist Mark Kieswetter. Freshman year of high school marked Ron’s first appearance on the Toledo jazz scene. Throughout high school he played with many established tri-state area musicians sharpening his musical skills and techniques, along with gaining important professional experience. Ramona Collins, Jimmy Cook, Ray Parker, Bob Rex, Gene Parker, Paul Keller, Ernie Krivda, and Brad Sharp are just a few of the many that took the young musician under their wings.
Ron’s achievements were first recognized at a national level while in high school when he gained awards from IAJE’s (International Association of Jazz Educators) “Arts & Young Talent Search”, through Downbeat Magazine and at MusicFest USA in Philadelphia. He won the pianist chair in the first national “McDonald’s All American Jazz Ensemble”, which was capped by performances at the Grammy Awards. Closer to home, Ron took first place in Detroit and WJR’s “National Quest for Excellence Music Contest” and numerous top awards at many University sponsored jazz festivals including Ohio State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and Cincinnati.
After graduating Whitmer High School in 1992, Ron moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship, where he received a Baccalaureate Degree in Performance (music) in 1996. Shortly after moving to New York at the age of 18, Ron was asked to tour with Maynard Ferguson. For the next six years Ron would tour off and on with Maynard and his Big Bop Nouveau.
His television credits with Maynard include an appearance on the Crook and Chase Show, and a Ramsey Lewis BET special. Live video recordings are available from Liverkuson and Jakarta.
Ron’s recording credits include two recordings for Concord Records with Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau: “These Cats Can Swing” (1995 release), and “Brass Attitude” (1998 release). He was featured several times on both recordings playing piano, keyboards, and the Hammond B-3. He was also featured on an upcoming Supper Club All-Stars/Jumpin Gigilos release which is one of New York Cities hottest swing bands.
Along with his active performing career, Ron Oswanski’s talent as a composer has also received noteworthy attention because of his distinctive sound and style. Two of his compositions, “Milk of the Moon” and “Misra-Dhenuka” (co-written with Maynard) were featured on “Brass Attitude”. TIME magazine called both compositions “exciting” and coined “Milk of the Moon” a “lovely ballad”. Concerning “Milk of the Moon” (listen to Milk of the Moon here), Maynard Ferguson says, “this contemporary approach of subtlety, colors, and beauty have hints of the writing of Gil Evans”. Ron also received praise in Jazz Times and Wind Player magazine.
Ron Oswanski is an exceptional young talent who is increasingly gaining wider acclaim. He is currently a freelance pianist in the New York City metropolitan area, performing and composing many styles of music.