Tag Archives: flute

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INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED FLAUTIST/COMPOSER RON KORB DEBUTS 20th SOLO ALBUM IN TORONTO

Last night (Wed. Oct.17), Grammy-nominated and internationally acclaimed RON KORB delivered a sizzling show from the stage of Toronto’s Jazz Bistro, introducing tracks from his latest solo album, WORLD CAFE, showcasing Latin-themed original instrumentals. Ron was joined on stage by world-renowned musicians who also played on the album: Bill Bridges, Bill Evans, Steve Lucas and Larry Crowe, with special guests Hilario Duran (piano) and Joseph Macerollo (accordion).

That same day, nomination ballots for this year’s Grammy Awards were also distributed to academy members around the world and all fingers are crossed that Ron receives another Grammy nod like his previous album, Asia Beauty.
In World Café, Ron takes us to sunny Spain, the island of Cuba, and the alluring lands of South America where he merges a rhythm from one region with a melody inspired by another. World Café represents a meeting place where people from many cultures can intermingle, laugh and make friends in a relaxed space – much like his own multicultural Toronto where this album was recorded.world cafe final cover   small-450px-72dpiback cover World cafe SMALLThe packed audience at Jazz Bistro swayed to the rhythms and there was a lot of chair dancin’ during the two sets;  the show must have blown up on social media based on all the phone cameras held high to catch the action….like this beautiful accordion solo from Joseph Macerollo…

The evening was hosted by the always-charming Miss Ziggy Lorenc (Zoomer Media) who many in the crowd remembered from her Citytv days – Ziggy now hosts a nightly show during the week on Zoomer Radio AM640 called Stardust and Midnight Blue. Here she is (below, L) with friend Barbara (R) and on stage MC’ing the show.20181017_193227 20181017_205555As for many of Ron’s albums, the cover and accompanying 24-pg full colour booklet was designed by his talented wife, Jade, seen here (below, R) with fans. 20181017_185417 not for publicThis next brief video was hard to shoot – all I wanted to do was dance!! So please pardon my cha-cha-cha moves and enjoy another brief taste of World Café here:

Ron’s final set resulted in multiple encores and lots of CD sales with some audience members purchasing multiple copies as presents for friends and family! 20181017_215339To learn more about Ron, listen to World Café and previous albums, visit www.ronkorb.com or you can download World Café from Spotify, iTunes or Amazon. Thank you for supporting Canadian musical artists.

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GRAMMY NOMINATED RON KORB RELEASES 20th SOLO ALBUM “WORLD CAFE” WITH OCT. 17TH CONCERT IN TORONTO

Three years ago, internationally acclaimed flutist & composer Ron Korb‘s album “Asia Beauty” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. Ron has just released his latest album, “WORLD CAFE”, this time with a distinct Latin flavour, and it has been receiving a lot of attention from international music media as well as fans, and is rising quickly on various music charts. back cover World cafe  smallRon’s previous albums have garnered critical and popular acclaim from around the world; he’s shared many musical journeys, from the wonders and mysteries of Japan and China, to the infectious joy and tender melancholy of Celtic song and dance. For his World Café album, he takes us to sunny Spain, the island of Cuba and the alluring lands of South America. He explores how things sound when crossing a rhythm from one region with a melody inspired by another. All the music is played by living, breathing musicians (no computer generated tunes here!) including renowned award-winning jazz, world and Latin musicians Hilario Duran and Johannes Linstead, with an emphasis on using acoustic instruments.

Here’s a quick taste of World Café …..

I recently sat down and chatted with Ron (fittingly, in a cafe) and asked him a few questions about his music….

With a personal collection of 250 flutes, your reputation as the “king of flutes” is well earned – which instruments did you play on this latest album?  In World Café, the main instrument is my concert flute but I also used some Asian bamboo flutes and the ocarina on some tracks. I was also able to experiment with the Ellis-Korb flute mouthpieces that I’ve been developing with California flute maker Geoffrey Ellis. With the different cuts and various hardwoods we used, I could tailor the sound for each piece. It has been a long 6 year project creating the holy grail of embouchure designs and now Geoffrey and I are very excited about what we‘ve achieved together.DSC02624seasideYour previous album for which you received a Grammy nomination, Asia Beauty, explored Asian musical themes. What made you choose to record this latest album in the Latin style?  World Café has been very well received but it has taken everyone by surprise, especially listeners who have just discovered my music in recent years. Older fans know I’ve already written and performed tunes like Casco Viejo, La Sirena, Desert Night and Dark Eyes. Even back in my student days I often would write tunes that had a Spanish flavour. Latin music is the rhythm of the heart and I had been looking forward to making an upbeat album with a Latin theme for many years. Now when I look at the finished physical CD I can hardly believe it is finally manifested. It’s like a dream come true and I’m very happy with the production and the way it sounds.not for publicHow did you created the music for this album?  For the last decade I have been writing songs with pen and paper. I have books of manuscript paper full of hand written sketches and ideas. When I’m away from home and an idea pops into my head I will just sing the melody or beat box the rhythm on to my phone and transcribe it later. After the musical phrases have had time to ferment, I revisit them and discard the less than brilliant sketches and focus on the melodies that have real magic. Some songs come together very quickly and others take years to find the right contrasting section.  It’s always possible to finish off a song quickly but to write something really special takes a lot of time and effort.

It must be very rewarding to hear the completed album – what was the most enjoyable part of recording World Café?  I would say the most rewarding aspect about making World Café is collaborating with the musicians. It is amazing to hear the songs come alive when you workshop it with a band. In the past, I used midi and computer software quite a lot but since doing my Ron Korb Live album in Quebec in 2004, I gradually transitioned to being completely acoustic. It’s far more expensive to work that way but I prefer the result. Working with legendary Cuban pianist Hilario Duran and guitarist Johannes Linstead was a particular highlight. When I wrote the song Hilario, I didn’t really think that he would record it. Again, this is like another dream come true. After I contacted him, Hilario invited me to his place and I showed him the song. He immediately liked it and suggested some Cuban players to join us on the recording. It was really a thrill to work with such authentic players.

Being so musical, you must play other instruments – which ones?  Concert flute, bass flute, penny whistle, low whistle, shinobue, dizi, xun, bawu, Cambodian pie pook, ocarina. I play piano just enough for composing and songwriting. I also have sung backing and some lead vocals professionally.VIL0_XIw

On October 17th, Ron will be presenting World Café to a live audience for the first time. Performing at Jazz Cafe in Toronto, Ron will be joined on stage by an exciting group of musicians including Bill Evans (L) and Hilario Duran (C) pictured below with Ron.Bill Evans and Hilario DuranWorld Café represents a meeting place where people from many cultures can intermingle, laugh and make friends in a relaxed space – much like Ron’s own multicultural Toronto where this album was recorded.  The album is available thru Ron’s website or via Amazon.ca, iTunes, Spotify & Tidal. Listen online or purchase the gorgeous full-colour hardcover 24pg CD package designed by Ron’s talented wife and photographer, Jade. These will be available at the event, too. Perfect as gifts, as well as for yourself. .

Tickets to the concert as well as Ron’s complete discography are available at: www.ronkorb.com  dRIXZvJw

RON KORB presents WORLD CAFÉ

Wednesday Oct. 17th at 8pm (doors open 7pm)

JAZZ BISTRO, 251 Victoria St, Toronto

Cover: $15 advance from www.ronkorb.com   or $20 at the door

CTV pic

WHAT A WEEK THAT WAS FOR GRAMMY NOMINEE RON KORB

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I logged onto the Grammy nominee list, cuppa coffee in one hand, mouse in the other, scrolling down as I held my breath….Category 30, New Age Album…….blah blah blah blah…and RON KORB for ASIA BEAUTY. Yaaaay!!!!12096026_10153033946140448_2532998975567882371_nAfter a very busy year of composing, producing and performing, Toronto-based flautist and composer Ron Korb awoke last Monday morning as a Grammy nominee! Having worked with Ron over the summer to promote the release of Asia Beauty, I am so proud and excited for him at the prospect of walking the red carpet on Grammy weekend (mid-February) rubbing shoulders with the likes of  Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and fellow Canuck nominees, Drake, The Weeknd and Justin Bieber.logo

As soon as the nominations for all the categories were announced I started working my media contacts here in Toronto – all the TV and radio networks, the dailies, the music bloggers – how would you like a Grammy nominated artist on your show?  Sadly, as is typical these days, we had few takers. Unless you are an international, multi-award winning artist, they just don’t care. But hang on…..that’s exactly what Ron Korb is. Ron has won countless international music awards, has performed in some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls and collaborated with numerous other award-winning artists, has produced over 30 hit albums in various genres (Celtic, Latin, Jazz, native American, African, classical, Japanese….) composes film & tv scores, and he’s also the third most well-known Cdn in China which has the greatest buying power in the universe these days.  Ron has performed for Queen Elizabeth, Princess Takamado of Japan, Princess Bopha Devi of Cambodia, and was featured on the World Youth Day recording for Pope John Paul and the Dalai Lama’s World Festival of Sacred Music in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has also shared stages with Peter Gabriel, Jane Siberry, Tia Carrere, Liona Boyd, The Yardbirds, Olivia Newton John and Cesaria Evora.

With fellow Cdn artist Liona Boyd

With fellow Cdn artist Liona Boyd

So how come Canadian media doesn’t recognize his accomplishments and want to brag about them to their viewers/listeners/readers? Beats me!  At least the Toronto Star and CTV Headline News acknowledged Ron’s accomplishments…..

TorStar Dec 9Ron and his lovely wife Jade, who took all the photos for Ron’s Asia Beauty album which included a 32pg full-colour booklet, have worked long and hard to promote Canadian music and artistry around the world. Asia Beauty has already won “Best of Show” at the 2015 Global Music Awards as well as awards for Best Instrumental Solo performance (Blue Bamboo) and Best Album Design. The CD also won Best Instrumental Album and Best Instrumental Song (Two Mountains) at the Akademia Music Awards in Los Angeles. Ron has toured countless times around the world and when composing his 2014 Europa album, he performed in venues where classical legends  – Mozart, Beethoven, Bach – once trod the stage. Ron even shared the cover of a recent online edition of Billboard with Keith Richards……keith and ron….so why no love from our own media? This is the sad reality for most Canadian artists. No matter how brilliant, how popular, how well covered by int’l media or how awarded you are by other countries, Canada apparently doesn’t give a rat’s ass about its own artists. So hopefully I will be proven wrong and more editors, columnists, bloggers and news directors will realize the treasure they have under their noses and will step up as we head into Grammy month (Feb/16) and my phone will be ringing off the hook for interviews with the amazing Ron Korb!  Why not see for yourself why he’s such a superstar…. http://ronkorb.com/home_MG_2214

Post script: in his usual humble manner, Ron played a special Christmas concert on Saturday at the St. Paul’s Anglican church in Newmarket – the perfect way to end the hectic and exciting week. Here he is performing to the packed pews!su3IlLSoGq9IKL8EMgK2QECzFI7aLqOftJOwUl5-z3U SnUyYlWoD14w3bUuGCGogFsN8MHisTXgTpDNP7hwUQc

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RON KORB PERFORMS @ STEINWAY PIANO GALLERY

What a great way for flautist/composer Ron Korb to end the month of July – with a special performance at the renowned Steinway Piano Gallery in Markham (just north of Toronto). Ron was joined on stage by the award-winning pianist/composer (and Steinway artist) Chris Donnelly, and accompanied on Chinese erhu by Xiaoqiu Lin.20150731_201616 20150731_191942If you’ve never been to the Steinway location in Markham, it’s definitely worth a quick trip to see some of the most extraordinary instruments, ranging from family-friendly uprights to concert grand pianos. Join me for a virtual stroll thru their showroom…..

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World-renowned musician Aidan Mason tickles the ivories

World-renowned musician Aidan Mason tickles the ivories

Piano consultant Janice Brisco (r) chats with guests

Piano consultant Janice Brisco (r) chats with guests

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20150731_185734Ron and Chris had a wonderful rehearsal in the afternoon (below), and they were so well taken care of by the Steinway team. Wish all venues had such accommodating crews.

DSC04679As the concert drew to a close, both Ron and Chris were presented with a special performance citation from the City of Markham by Regional Councillor (and BIG Ron Korb fan!) Nirmala Armstrong (below left) – joining them on stage is Steinway General Manager Alex Thomson (below right)

DSC04735Ron’s beautiful wife, Jade, handled videotaping duties (below) as well as being responsible for the stunning photography in Ron’s latest CD, Asia Beauty. She also handled all the CD sales last night…phew! That woman needs a vacation!

20150731_201650We then adjourned to the gallery for a reception, CD sales and a meet-n-greet with the stars…oh what a rush!

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full houseLovely to see some of the Canadian music icons and fellow artists who came out to support Ron and Chris. Below Liona Boyd…need I say more? Wow!20150731_204243And keyboardist and producer Lance Anderson played a few tunes while Nightingale Music founder, Caron Nightingale looked on (below). 20150731_210102

Lance soon drew a crowd including photographer David who I caught mid-shot!

Lance soon drew a crowd including photographer David who I snapped mid-shot!

Here's Aidan Mason again, with partner Margot Glatt

Here’s Aidan Mason again, with partner Margot Glatt

Sculptor/painter Olga Nabatova showed her stripes along with her friend, classical pianist  Helen Marinow

Sculptor/painter Olga Nabatova showed her stripes along with her friend, classical pianist Helen Marinow

Here are two friends and fans of Ron's - musician Wen Zhao (who played on Ron's Asia Beauty CD) with Grace Lau of Aqua Event Mgmn't

Here are two friends and fans of Ron’s – at left musician Wen Zhao (who played on Ron’s Asia Beauty CD) with Grace Lau of Aqua Event Mgmn’t on the right.

We all love Ron's super fan John Ota

We all love Ron’s super fan John Ota (above)

And here is Ron sandwiched between two fabulous ladies – Margaret Nightingale (left) & Caron on the right.

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More fans showed their love for our 2 stars of the night

More fans showed their love for our 2 stars of the night

Charming and knowledgeable piano consultant Phyllis Zhong (ctr) was joined by 2 friends

Charming and knowledgeable piano consultant Phyllis Zhong (ctr) was joined by 2 friends

But it was Phyllis's shoes that caught my attention. Painful? Yes. But worth it? You betcha!

But it was Phyllis’s shoes that caught my attention. Painful? Yes. But worth it? You betcha!

Here's Helen Li, VP of the new posh glossy magazine "Pure Luxury".

Here’s Helen Li, VP of the new posh glossy magazine “Pure Luxury”.

Alex worked hard all night with his staff, to make everyone feel welcome. Bravo, good show, Alex!

Alex worked hard all night with his staff to make everyone feel welcome. Bravo, Alex, good show!

And here's the "jewel in the crown" - the handcrafted Macassar Ebony Steinway grand, worth a cool qtr million! Everyone wanted to touch it, play it...and so they did!

And here’s the “jewel in the crown” – the handcrafted Macassar Ebony Steinway grand, worth a cool qtr million! Everyone wanted to touch it, play it…and so they did!

 

20150731_20560620150731_203648If you would like to learn more about Ron, please visit his website: www.ronkorb.com and if you would like to visit the Steinway Piano Gallery, check out their website at: www.steinwaytoronto.ca

A wonderful concert...thank you to Chris, Ron and Xiaoqiu

A wonderful concert…thank you to Chris, Ron and Xiaoqiu

 

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AWARD-WINNING FLAUTIST & COMPOSER RON KORB RELEASES NEW ALBUM “ASIA BEAUTY” JULY 7th IN TORONTO

I’ve been aware of Toronto’s internationally acclaimed flautist and composer RON KORB and his music for many years, having attended one of his concerts back in the late 90’s – I remember being completely mesmerized by his flute playing; I never knew there were so many different types of flute or the vastly dissimilar sounds and tones each emits.

DSC00144g-1-sDSC07049Famous for playing a wide variety indigenous woodwinds from around the world, Ron’s critically praised music has been released in twenty countries around the world, and he’s toured extensively throughout Europe, North and Central America, Australia, South Asia, mainland China and Japan, performing for many heads of state and royalty. His compositions evoke imagery of the diverse cultural traditions and experiences he’s encountered on his travels.

Several months ago, I reconnected with Ron during a taping of the Rogers Daytime Toronto tv show and we started chatting in the green room about the release of his upcoming new CD, Asia Beauty. On Tuesday July 7th, Ron will be performing at Musideum, 401 Richmond St West (at Spadina) accompanied by renowned pianist Lou Pomanti with Linlin Wang on the Chinese Erhu, as he introduces Asia Beauty to world, classical and new age music fans. Tickets are $20 and available on Ron’s website: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

Cover-2015(less green)His past albums have run the gamut of Celtic themes, a salute to the European masters, Native American, Japanese, mystical and even a Christmas album, all original works using a multitude of wind instruments accompanied by indigenous and traditional musical instruments. I asked Ron about his latest album and he shared his inspirations and the story behind the new album:
This album is the result of my travels through China over the past 13 years.  The music is inspired by the dramatic landscapes, ancient history, the people and their stories, the arts and culture and their dynamic present-time where, in cities like Shanghai, entire communities are changing rapidly. More specifically, as you flip through the album booklet you can see the background inspiration for each song. All the pieces have a unique story that reflects something about Asian culture.

????????????????????????????? KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAsia Beauty also features a beautiful 36 page picture book containing full colour photos of both rural and urban China. I asked Ron about these gorgeous photos:
I am proud that there are no stock photos in the picture book. Most of the original photography is by my wife, Jade, with a few shots taken by myself and others, notably Dan Shao. The exotic locations in China include: Guilin, Yangshou, Suzhou, Shanghai, and the Forbidden City in Beijing. Other locations include Hanoi, Vietnam and the gorgeous bamboo forest at Xitou in Taiwan.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

DSC08816-1Ron continued by telling the story behind his original songs on the album:
Seven of the songs from Asia Beauty are the musical setting of an original story called “Dragon Flute and the House of the Five Beauties” which I wrote in my hotel in Shanghai (where Ron is pictured below) after a week-long rehearsal schedule and concert performance. I spent an extra week travelling around and each night I would add a few more pages. I was inspired to write a supernatural story set in ancient China based on historical legend and some of my own experiences. There was even interest in turning the story into a feature length animated film, however, I’m happy that it’s finally available in the liner notes of the album.

SONY DSCOriginally I was going to call the whole album “The House of the Five Beauties” but as other songs included were not part of that story, I thought of calling the album simply “Asia”. I liked adding the word “Beauty” because the essence of the music is celebrating the beauty of Asian nature and also refers to “The Beautiful Sadness” aesthetic and the characters in “House of the Five Beauties”.

IMG_3304 ?????????????????????????????I noticed on his website that Ron has performed for many international heads of state and royalty over the years so I asked him how it feels to play in front of such prestigious audiences:
Aside from the diplomatic etiquette, the performing process is really the same. Music is about relating to each other as human beings. Personally, it is just as much a privilege to play for a King or Queen as it is for all audiences.

SONY DSC And I also asked him how Chinese audiences differ from Canadian audiences:
They come from a completely different perspective when it comes to appreciating the arts. I explain some of the cultural difference in the album with the song The Beautiful Sadness. I think the Chinese audiences are brutally honest and they won’t sit through something that they find boring. However, if your music touches them they will really show it enthusiastically.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA DSC04836g 147簽名會 SONY DSCWhich brought me to another question – does Ron see opportunities for other Canadian artists to explore the HUGE Chinese/South Asian music markets?
I think there are opportunities for Canadian artists but it is not as straightforward as expanding into the USA or Europe where we share a similar media culture and musical taste. I know some musicians who have tried to make it in China and been underwhelmed by the results and reaction from audiences.  There was one North American superstar who was performing there and after a few songs the audience began to leave en masse. There was another case where the audience was talking so loudly that the group stopped playing and lectured the audience on how to pay attention.

DSC04509g-1 With such a level of expertise, knowledge and personal experience, I asked Ron how long he has studied and played the flute, and which instruments are his favourites:
I started on recorder in elementary school and began playing flute in high school. I like each type of flute for different reasons. The classical flute has good intonation and pure tone but the mechanical key system lacks some intimacy, similar to the difference between an automatic transmission and a standard car. With the wooden flute your fingers touch the wood and you feel every curve and bump of the instrument. I also love the wonderful organic tone of the Chinese bamboo flute or wooden Irish flute.

20150623_174736With all this training and years of touring, Ron must have advice he could share with music students and aspiring performers so he offered the following:
Seek out the best teachers and learn the craft as best you can. Attend as many concerts of as many different genres as possible. As you develop, discover who you are as a person and learn how to express that through the flute. Resist copying other artists’ styles and develop your own special voice.

2015-02-13 20.34.59I mentioned to Ron that his upcoming CD release concert is being held in a unique venue, Musideum (pictured below), where I believe he had previously played, even collaborating with the owner, Donald Quan on musical projects:
Yes, I‘ve played there before and I even played at Musideum’s inaugural opening concert. I have known Donald since I was 17 and in many ways, our love of World Music has developed simultaneously. Musideum was the realization of a dream that took many years to create and it has become a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of exotic instruments from around the world. It has personal significance to me and that is why it’s so appropriate to launch my Asia Beauty there.

20150507_194347 20150507_194422 20150507_220351So we’re just a week away from the official release of Asia Beauty and as space is limited, I encourage fans of World, Classical or New Age-style music in the Toronto area to get your tickets now!

Asia Beauty CD Release

Tuesday July 7 @ 8pm (doors open 7:30pm)

Musideum, 401 Richmond St. West (at Spadina)

Tickets $20 available from: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets

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Thank you for supporting Canadian artists.

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IN PERFORMANCE WITH INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CANADIAN FLUTIST RON KORB

Last night, St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Newmarket presented a wonderful evening of musical entertainment performed by internationally renowned flutist RON KORB [ www.ronkorb.comaccompanied by cellist WENDY SOLOMON and pianist LOU POMANTI.

DSC00427gg-1-sOn this warm spring Friday afternoon, I accompanied Ron and his charming wife, Jade (who kindly shot some of these photos), up to Newmarket, a town just North of Toronto, where Ron was performing for the St. Paul’s audience.

20150508_161423 20150508_162305The 19th century church (above) was charming and welcoming, surrounded by trees in full blossom and chirping birds…what a nice respite from the downtown hub-bub of Toronto. Ron was joined by Gemini Award winning composer, producer and pianist Lou Pomanti  [ www.loupomanti.com ] and Wendy Solomon [ lushcellos.com ], a classical recitalist who tours the world with her beautiful cello. While they set up and rehearsed with local sound man Phil Claxton, I wandered around the church capturing some the stunning stained glass windows and iconography (below)

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20150508_201653The kind happy band of church volunteers prepared refreshments for the audience as well as a lovely light dinner for the musicians (and me, too). Thank you to Dorothy Bugden, chef extraordinaire, for the fine soup and salad. We gratefully devoured everything !

20150508_181559The crowd poured into the church around 7pm, ready for an evening of music from around the world….

20150508_185929Ron, Wendy and Lou took to the stage and for over 2 hours the audience was mesmerized by the soulful, spiritually evocative tunes Ron has composed to reflect his travels around the world and his love of all music.

20150508_193349 20150508_202405 20150508_203603Some of his tunes were very danceable and I caught soundman Phil at the back of the church sharing a quick salsa with wife Dawn during one of Ron’s Latin inspired pieces. They were a whirlwind of exuberance….

20150508_205849Jade took lots of wonderful action shots of the stage (below)

DSC00372ggcrop-1 DSC00335gg-1-s DSC00338gg-1-s DSC00427gg-1-s After the concert, the crowd retired to the reception where Ron signed copies of his CDs – I’m glad he brought lots with him as they were selling like hotcakes!!

20150508_211300 20150508_211429 20150508_211641Even Wendy met a fan and obliged with an autographed CD. (above). Lou seemed very pleased with the response (below) as he, too, met with fans after the show.

20150508_212805Ron and Wendy posed with The Rev. Gordon Sheppard (below) who, along with the church events committee, had  graciously invited Ron to perform.

20150508_213408 20150508_213414A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers and church officials who made this event possible, and thank you to the very appreciative Newmarket audience – Ron hopes to return for another concert soon.  Do visit St. Paul’s new website and Facebook page to support their upcoming events and concerts [ www.stpaulsnewmarket.org ]…and here are some more photos you may enjoy:

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