I had the honor Saturday evening to attend Charlie Bertini's 28th AppleJazz Festival at Little York Lake Pavilion. The bandstand that evening was filled the some of America's greatest players. Mark Doyle, Ronnie Leigh, Dave Hanlon, Charlie Bertini, John Allred, Terry Meyers, Jeff Phillips and many others. As I stood in the back of the room with another Hall of Famer- David "Rock" Feinstein we both commented to each other of the greatness of bass player Ronnie France. A comment was made "There's a guy who really plays from the heart" and that he does.
Hall of Famer Ronnie France was introduced to the music scene by his father who performed with his own band and toured with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Ronnie was, as we all know, a longtime collaborator with vocalist Ronnie Leigh and keyboard superstar Larry Arlotta. This threesome led to two Grammy nominated Cd's. In the 1990's Ronnie France was the music director for Nancy Kelly whose first album on Amherst Records went to number eight on the Billboard Jazz Music Chart.
France has performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Jeff Tyzik, Doc Severinson (Tonight Show bandleader), Allen Vizzutti (formerly of Chick Corea's band), Cabo Frio and Nancy Kelly to name a few. He joined the popular jazz band Eye Level (Jimmy Johns, Mark Copani, John Rohda, Andy Rudy) who performed at the Syracuse Jazz Fest starting in 1996. Ronnie has also performed over 20+ years at Charlie Bertini's Apple Jazz Festival held yearly at Little York Lake Pavilion.
If this is not enough Ronnie France could be seen playing with Ronnie Leigh, Karl Sterling and Marcus Curry and joined forces with "Hot Sweets". In 2009 Ronnie joined one of New York States Greatest Big Bands , Rochester's "Prime Time Funk".
Well that brings us up to date, but not the end of the Ronnie France music story. Maybe we're just at the beginning. It is a true pleasure to listen and view this gift to our Central New York Music scene