Born in Buffalo, New York Ronnie Foster began playing piano at the age of 4. By age 12 he had switched to Hammond organ and became a student of the jazz great Jimmy Smith. At age 15, Ronnie started playing with George Benson on weekends, while still in school.
After graduating from high school Ronnie began a two-year stint with The Billy Wooten Trio. Eventually, Ronnie began playing New York clubs. At 20 he got a call from New York that Saxophonist great Stanley Turrentine was looking for a new organist. He did one gig with Stanley.
Word of Ronnie was traveling fast. While he waited for the call about the next Turrentine gig, guitar legend Grant Green heard that Ronnie was in New York. Green hired Ronnie to go on the road. This event would prove to be a turning point for Ronnie as it offered him his first recording session experience; Grant Green Alive. This important session led Ronnie to a recording contract of his own with the legendary record label: Blue Note Records. Ronnie's first recording was titled Two-Headed Freap.
As a recording artist Ronnie's solo discography consists of 5 albums for Blue Note, 2 albums for Columbia Records and 1 album for Projazz. Ronnie Foster recorded his first album for Blue Note The Two Headed Freap, in January of 1972. Ronnie's follow-up album, Sweet Revival was recorded in December of that same year. He cut Live at Montreux in July of 1973, which was followed in 1974 by On the Avenue and in 1975 by Cheshire Cat, his final album for Blue Note. He then moved to Columbia, where he released Love Satellite in 1978 and Delight in 1979.
Ronnie€™s solo style favored funky vamps instead of risky improvisation. Jazz purists dismissed Ronnie during the peak of his early career; the first half of the '70s. However, as such a talented mainstream funk and soul-jazz keyboardist Ronnie was able to cultivate a very successful career as both a sideman (working frequently with George Benson, in particular) and producer. Beginning in the late '70s, and throughout the '80s and '90s, Ronnie€™s career and influence has spanned many varied artists and recordings as he began concentrating on session work. Some of those artists include: George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Earl Klugh, Jimmy Ponder, Stanley Clarke, Lalo Schifrin, Harvey Mason, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, David Sanborn, Lee Ritenour, The Temptations and Grover Washington, Jr. Ronnie Foster has played a significant role in mainstream and funk-jazz throughout the 70€™s, 80€™s and 90€™s.
Of late, Ronnie€™s own records have been rediscovered by a new generation of both 90€™s listeners and recording artist€™s alike. Many of Ronnie€™s records are currently used as source material for sample-heavy acid-jazz and hip-hop records.
In 1998/9 Ronnie enjoyed chart success as the producer of Roger Smith€™s #1 Smooth Jazz album €˜Both Sides€™ and the Will Downing/Gerald Albright Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart topping CD, €˜Pleasures Of The Night€™.
Ronnie has recently composed music for the hit show Storm at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas
Ronnie is also enjoying more success with artist Will Downing on his latest CD
Sensual Journey which has been at #3 for sometime now on Billboards Contemporary Jazz Chart
Ronnie is now in Las Vegas where he is currently musical director for the new hit show
AIR PLAY at the TROPICANA and has been recruited by vegas superstar
Clint Holmes, Ronnie wrote the opening theme for Clint's new show at Harrah's
Ronnie has been with Clint almost 4 years now.
Also Ronnie has been having some local Las vegas success with his own show starting last year at Sedona Restaurant co-owned by Andre Aggasi and now has moved to the new hot spot in Vegas The Artisan Hotel where he has SRO crowds every week.
Ronnie was nominated in 4 catagories for the first annual Las Vegas BMA awards
And won best Jazz Instrumentalist Overall 2006
Chet Atkins/Street Dreams Keyboards, Multi Instruments, Producer
George Benson/This Is Jazz (1965) Keyboards
George Benson/Best of George Benson (1971) Keyboards
George Benson/Good King Bad (1975) Keyboards
George Benson/In Concert-Carnegie Hall(1975) Piano, Keyboards
George Benson/Breezin' (1976) Electric Piano Moog Synthesizer
George Benson/In Flight (1976) Electric Piano, Mini Moog
George Benson/Collection (1976) Fender Rhodes, Mini Moog
George Benson/Best of George Benson (1976) Keyboards
George Benson/Weekend in L.A.(1977) Synthesizer, Keyboards, Piano
George Benson/Livin' Inside Your Love (1977) Keyboards, Mini Moog, Fender Rhodes George Benson/Space Album (1978) Keyboards
George Benson/Love Remembers (1993) Keyboards, Piano
Joao Bosco/Na Onda Que Balanca (1995) Producer, Hammond Organ
Joao Bosco/Coracao Tropical (1995) Producer
Ndugu Chancler/Old Friends:New Friends (1988) Synthesizer
Chayanne/Chayanne (1988) Producer Arranger, Keyboards,
Chayanne/Volver a Nacer (1996) Producer, Engineer Arranger
Hammond Organ, Keyboards
Chayanne/Atado a Tu Amor (1998) Producer Arranger, Keyboards,
Background Vocals The Chocolate Jam Co/Spread of the Future Organ, Synthesizer, Piano
Stanley Clarke/I Wanna Play for You (1977) Piano
Lupita D'Alessio/La D'Alessio (1993) Piano
Jorge Dalto/Listen Up! Synthesizer
Diomedes Diaz/Diomedes Dance Mix (1996) Executive Producer
Djavan/Djavan (1984) Producer, Keyboards, Piano
Djavan/Bird of Paradise (1988) Producer, Arrangements, Programming, Keyboards
Djavan/Coisa De Acender (1994) Producer, Keyboards
/Absolutely Brazilliant (1988) Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Will Downing/Love's the Place to Be (1993) Producer, Arranger, Vibraphone, String Arrangements, Vocals
Will Downing/Invitation Only (1997) Producer, Engineer, Background Vocals, Multi Instruments
Will Downing&Gerald Albright
/Pleasures of the Night (1998) Producer, Organ,
Roberta Flack/Blue Lights in the Basement (1977) Keyboards, Vocal Synthesizer
Fuse One/Complete Recordings (1979) Keyboards
Grant Green/Alive! (1970) Organ
The Jackson's/Triumph (1980) Keyboards
Charles Jackson/Gonna Getcha Love (1979) Keyboards
Jermaine Jackson/Jermaine (1984) keyboards
Chaka Khan/What Cha' Gonna Do for Me (1981) Keyboards
John Klemmer/Music (1989) Piano, Electric Piano
Earl Klugh/Love Songs (1976) Electric Piano, Rhythm Arrangements
Earl Klugh/Crazy for You (1981) Arrangements, Vocoder
Earl Klugh/Wishful Thinking (1983) Keyboards
Earl Klugh/Midnight in San Juan (1989) Keyboards
Earl Klugh/Whispers and Promises (1989) Synthesizer, Arranger, Keyboards
Earl Klugh/Best of Earl Klugh, Vol. 1 (1991) Electric Piano
Earl Klugh/Best of Earl Klugh, Vol. 2 (1992) Piano, Electric Piano
Earl Klugh/Sudden Burst of Energy (1995) Keyboards
Earl Klugh/Best of Earl Klugh (1998) Arranger, Keyboards
Ronnie Laws/Every Generation (1980) Keyboards
Bobby Lyle/Power of Touch (1997) Engineer
Eric Marienthal/Walk Tall:Tribute to Cannonball(1998) Keyboards
Harvey Mason/Funk in a Mason Jar (1977) Keyboards
Harvey Mason/Groovin' You (1979) Keyboards
Harvey Mason/Ratamacue (1995) Synthesizer, Hammond Organ
Najee/Songs from the Key of Life(1995) Piano, Keyboards, Clavinet
The Nils/Blue Planet (1998) Keyboards
Phil Perry/My Book of Love (2000) Producer, Engineer,
Jimmy Ponder/Illusions (1976) Synthesizer, Clavinet
Art Porter/Undercover (1994) Producer, Bass, Piano, Drums, Keyboards
Doc Powell/Inner City Blues (1996) Organ
Lee Ritenour/Wes Bound (1992) Guitar, Hammond Organ
Lee Ritenour/This Is Love (1997) Organ, Bass, Hammond Organ
Robbie Robertson/Storyville (1991) Hammond Organ
Paul Rodgers/Tribute to Muddy Waters (1993) Hammond Organ
Robi Rosa/Frio (1994) Producer, Hammond Organ, Background Vocals
Robi Draco Rosa/Songbirds & Roosters (English)(1998) Producer, Hammond Organ
David Sanborn/Change of Heart (1987) Producer keys
Lalo Schifrin/No One Home (1979) Keyboards
Jimmy Smith/Cat Strikes Again (1980) Piano
Roger Smith/ Both Sides (1998) Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Vocals
L. Subramaniam/Blossom (1981) Synthesizer
Joe Taylor with Michel/In Sync: Projazz Sampler #2 Keyboards
The Temptations/Truly for You (1984) Synthesizer, Programming
The Temptations/Emperors of Soul (1994) Synthesizer, Programming Arranger, Keyboards
Nestor Torres/Dance of the Phoenix (1990) Producer, Engineer, Orchestration,Synthesizer, Piano, Arranger, Keyboards
Stanley Turrentine/Wonderland (1986) Producer, Electric Piano,Vibraphone, Synthesizer Bass
Urban Jazz Network/Urban Dreams (1999) Keyboards
Various Artists/Blue Note Salutes Motown (1998) Arranger, Producer,
Various Artists/Classic Jazz Funk, Vol. 2 (1996)Organ
Roland Vazquez/Feel Your Dream (1995) Piano
Grover Washington, Jr./Time Out of Mind (1989) Multi Instruments
Stevie Wonder/Songs in the Key of Life (1976)Organ
AS A RECORDING ARTIST:
Blue Note Records
Two-Headed Freap (1972)
Sweet Revival (1972)
Live At Montreux (1973) €“ Produced by George Butler
On the Avenue (1974) €“ Produced by George Benson
Cheshire Cat (1975) €“ Produced by George Benson
Love Satellite (1978) €“ Produced by Jerry Peters
Delight (1978) - Produced by Jerry Peters
The Racer (1986)
AS A KEYBOARDIST (TOURING):
George Benson - Keyboards & Vocals (1970-1983)
Stevie Wonder - Keyboards & Vocals (1983-1986)
Lionel Ritchie - Keyboards & Vocals (1986-1989)
AS A PRODUCER
Stanley Turrentine, David Sanborn, Will Downing, Chet Atkins, Grover Washington Jr., Will Downing and Gerald Albright, Art Porter, Jimmy Smith, Nestor Torres, Chayanne, Djavan, Guilhermes Arantes, Robi Rosa, Luis Angel, Roger Smith, Rosana, Joao Bosco, The Jacksons, Micheal Jackson.
** €œPleasures of The Night€? by Will Downing and Gerald Albright €“ Number One
on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for thirteen weeks (1998) Both
** €œOff The Hook€? the single by Roger Smith €“ Number One Single on the R&R NAC charts for 4 weeks July (1999) and was nominated for Radio & Records' Break-Out Artist of the Year.
** Grammy Nomination: Best Arrangement Instrumental - Earl Klugh €œBalladina€?
AS A GUEST ARTIST (RECORDINGS)
George Benson, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Earl Klugh, David Sanborn, Sheila E., Harvey Mason, Marcus Miller, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Lee Ritenour, Grover Washington Jr., Chet Atkins, Robbie Robertson,
Tom Scott, Patrice Rushen, The Jackson 5, Djavan, Art Porter, Jimmy Smith, Nestor Torres, Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack , George Duke, Stanley Clark, Paul Rogers, Najee, The Black Byrds, Ronnie Laws, Hubert Laws, Ron Carter, Gerald Albright, Doc Powell, Lalo Schifrin and many others.
SONGS APPEAR ON
Luis Angel/Luis Angel - "Senales De Vida
George Benson/Breezin' - "Lady"
George Benson/Love Remembers €“ €œ Lost In Love€?
George Benson/Living Inside Your Love €“ €œ Nassau Day€? & €œ Prelude to Fall€?
George Benson/Weekend in LA €“ €œWe As Love€?
George Benson/In Flight €“ €œThe Wind & I€?
Chayanne/Chayanne €“ "Dile a Tudo Mundo No"
Jorge Dalto/Listen Up! €“ €œSky€?
Will Downing/Invitation Only - "Islands"
Will Downing/Love's the Place to Be - "Love's the Place to Be" & €œLover€™s Paradise€?
Erica Guerin/Get Real - "Never Too Late"
Fuse One/Complete Recordings €“ €œGrandprix€? & €œSunwalk€?
David Sanborn/Change of Heart - "Summer"
Roger Smith/Both Sides €“ €œOff The Hook€? & €œMix It Up With Love€?
Nestor Torres/Dance Of The Phoenix €“ €œThe Feel€?, €œSultry Song€?, & Nights In Love€?
Tribe Called Quest/ €œ Electric Relaxation€?
Grover Washington Jr./Time Out Of Mind €“ €œJamaica€?
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