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Arts & Entertainment
Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 5 years ago

The Sal Ronci Band: A 'different breed' of jazz

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The Sal Ronci Jazz Band plays a wide variety of  jazz because, according to its leader, you can't pigeonhole his genre.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

The Sal Ronci Jazz Band isn't just a jazz band.

“For me, its a broader definition,” Sal Ronci said. “Even early rock and roll is a form of jazz, because it came from rhythm and blues, which is really a form a jazz, as well.”

The band, made up of Lee and Sallie Quick, Jay Messick and Ronci, will play a 6:30 p.m show Friday, Nov. 30, at the Shores Plaza, 3048 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach Shores, featuring a wide variety of jazz styles, along with some holiday standards.

Intended for more than just jazz enthusiasts, the show will open with some swing tunes and ballads.

“It’s impossible to say, ‘This is jazz,’ in one word,” Ronci said. “If I were to say bebop or progressive jazz is jazz, that’s not the case (either). It’s nothing but confusion if you try to pigeonhole it into one thing.”

To play a wide variety of jazz, Ronci needed to put together a group of versatile musicians. His five-piece band includes keyboards (Lee Quick), bass (Sallie Quick), drums (Messick), clarinet (Guiser) and trumpet (Ronci).

“I’m a different breed,” Ronci said. “I put out an album called ‘The Story of Jazz,’ where we played all different styles. I use only musicians who can do all the different styles of jazz.”

Ronci was also a band director for Miami schools for roughly 30 years. In the program, a Ronci band with a different lineup played a variety of jazz music, and Ronci would explain the different styles incorporated and how each evolved from one another.

He got the idea for the program, he said, in part, from one of his biggest musical influences, Stan Kenton.

Kenton was a pianist and composer who led a jazz orchestra and released an album titled “This is an Orchestra,” which Ronci says included narration and introductions of different orchestral elements.

“(In high school), we went to see him in New Haven,” Ronci said. “I talked to him and shook his hand. I was thrilled about that. And since then, I’ve listened to every record.”

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