Pianist, electric bassist, and composer, musician Ron Paley formed the Ron Paley Big Band in 1976 after playing with the big bands of Buddy Rich and Woody Herman, with whom he recorded two CD’s and played on a Frank Sinatra album. He has recorded two big band albums, one trio album, and is completing work on a big band musical.
The big band has performed in concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and played a concert of “new music” sponsored by Winnipeg’s new music concert organization “Groundswell”. In 2002 Ron was commissioned by the Royal Canadian College of Organists to compose a work for choir and organ based on the text of Psalm 122. This was followed by a commission from the National Arts Centre to write a fanfare for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for the Royal Visit. In 2004 the big band performed and toured with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, playing jazz arrangements of songs by Rogers and Hart for “A Cinderella Story”. In 2007 Ron was commissioned by the Winnipeg Singers to write a choral work using the text of 3 of Shakespeare’s sonnets.