While with Hamp's band, some of the highlights were a Ramsey Lewis television special, and a recorded concert at the Smithsonian Institute, where Ron's solos were taped and put into their Archives. Ron was the featured soloist and arranger for performances with Nat Adderley at the world-famous Apollo Theatre, and he also performed at the Paramount Theatre with King Curtis' Big Band. Ron has played shows for literally hundreds of stars, including Clint Holmes, Rita Moreno, Robert Merrill, Chita Rivera, Rich Little, and Billy Eckstine.
In 1974, Ron Aprea recorded with John Lennon and Elton John on the album entitled, Walls and Bridges. The all-star horn section included Howard Johnson, Frank Vicari, and Steve Madeo. Ron was a featured soloist on the jazz-gospel album, Free to Be Free. He also wrote, arranged, and produced his own album, Ronnie April's Positive Energy Volume 1. Ron had his own TV special on WNYC, and was a featured soloist on Broadway's Song of Singapore.
Photo Credit: Rasheem Morris
Ron's compositions, arrangements, and productions skills can be heard on Angela DeNiro's first CD, Just For the Fun of It, as well as her second release, Angela DeNiro...Swingin' With Legends, featuring Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, and Lew Tabackin.
Ron and Angela brought the house down at the Five Towns College Jazz Concert in 1998 and 1999. Ron was featured with the Kenny Barron Trio at the 1998 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,and was part of the All-Star cast, which included Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Bill Watrous, Jon Faddis, Al Grey, Ray Brown, Marion McPartland, Abbey Lincoln, and Diana Krall. In addition to a full performance schedule, Ron spends much time composing and arranging, both for an instrumental big band album, and for vocalist Angela DeNiro.
In 1998, Ron's production of Angela DeNiro's "Swingin' With Legends" album, featuring Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, Lew Tabackin, and Ron's all-star 16 piece big band, received EIGHT GRAMMY nomination entries, three of which were: Producer of the Year, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for Angela DeNiro's "Avalon" & "The Song Is You." On that historic album, Angela DeNiro became the first and only singer to record "Midnight Sun" with its composer, Lionel Hampton. http://www.ronaprea.com
In 2007, Ron Aprea and his wife jazz vocalist Angela DeNiro headlined les Nuits du Jazz Festival, in Nantes France, and were featured with the Cote Ouest Big Band, under the direction of Jean-Phillipe Vidal.
In Ron's youth he would often frequent the jazz club Birdland in NYC, and whenever Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers would play Birdland, Ron would be there in the gallery soaking it all in. Ron, early on, was a big band enthusiast with a passion for the Basie band. But Blakey's Jazz Messengers always had the intensity of a big band and with plenty of blowing space for his all-star lineup. The perfect combination of power and creativity.
On June 5, 2013 Ron released his own album entitled Ron Aprea Sextet-Remembering Blakey, Ron's tribute to Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers. Ron's front line on this album is Joe Magnarelli-trpt., Jerry Weldon-tenor, and Ron on alto. The rhythm section is Cecilia Coleman-piano, Tim Givens-bass, and Vince Cherico-drums. The album is a mix of originals and standards. Ron has two of his own originals, Sophia (written for his granddaughter)
Ron is currently working on an album with vocalist Tony Yezzo. The producer is bassist Al Cardillo, who collaborated with Ron on the writing. Ron also can be heard soloing on both flute and alto.
Future plans will include Ron's son Matt Aprea who is a virtuoso violinist, and his wife, jazz vocalist Angela DeNiro. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
GingerNewYork found on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) since launching in November, 2010, has been showcasing the “Kool Kats…Gotham Nights” greats of music and culture of New York and beyond. What defines GingerNewYork is its host Ginger Broderick’s unique insight, connection to and pulse on the music and culture of Gotham making GingerNewYork one of the most sought after programs to appear on.
GingerNewYork can be seen in Manhattan on Time Warner Cable Channel 34, Fios Channel 33, and RCN Channel 82, every Friday afternoon at 2pm EST. It can also be seen live streaming on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network's website, www.mnn.org, Channel 1.
About GingerNewYork host Ginger Broderick:
Broderick perhaps better known to many as “The Media CPA” is a fixture on the media circuit.
Ms. Broderick appeared regularly for eight years on weekend morning financial segments for WABC Eyewitness News. She has appeared on Good Day New York, WNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, NY1 and WOR Radio discussing tax-related issues. She has interviewed with top financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Wealth Manager.
Ms. Broderick completed her TV Producer’s Certification at Manhattan Neighborhood Network and launched her own talk/variety show, GingerNewYork. Segments of the show are aired LIVE at the MNN studios and taped at the Gibson Guitar showroom/Rehearsal Studios in New York City.
Broderick is a faculty member of Queens College/CUNY Continuing Education Program. Broderick obtained a B.S. degree in accounting from St. John’s University in New York City and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of New York.
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GingerNewYork 'Kool Kats...Gotham Nights'
Photo of Ms. Broderick Courtesy of Rasheem Morris