Ron is one of a small handful of masters of the 7-string guitar in the USA, specializing in Spanish, Latin and Brazilian sounds, including Flamenco, Samba, Bossa-nova and jazz. Singing in several languages, Ron presents an entertaining world music show either solo or leading his groups Vuelo and Crocodile Island. With thousands of performances in North America and Europe, and as an accompanist to some of the greatest singers of all time, including Johnny Mathis, Sergio Franchi and Tom Jones, Ron demonstrates his versatility and mastery leading his own gigs or working with Crocodile River Music. Ron has taught at NE Conservatory and Berklee College, and records for Whaling City Sound.
My family hired Ron to play solo at a private birthday party and everyone really enjoyed his music, especially the range, knowledge, and musical elegance of his sound on guitar. I highly recommend hiring Ron for an evening of truly enjoyable music.
Price Range: $250-2500
Gig Length: 60 - 360 minutes
What to Expect
In concert, an audience member can expect an entertaining and informative show, as I tend to take my audiences on journeys both musically and verbally. For instance, in my Bossa Flamenco show I will talk a little about the history of Gypsy Flamenco, and perform several different "toques", or styles, eventually connecting with the Brazilian style of music, during which I will play and sing both Brazilian classical pieces and popular songs, singing in Portugese and English. I follow this pattern whether appearing as a soloist or with my trio Vuelo. I maintain several concert programs, from classical guitar to jazz ensemble, and can customize programs with themes if required. These may include Music of Shakespeare's Time, Latin Jazz, International, The Guitar In Spain, and so on. In academic situations I and my bandmates can give workshops and masterclasses as well as concert performances.
On the other hand, during a function, I will perform music appropriate to the gathering, whether soft romantic background music, or energetic dance music, including requests made in advance by the client. My background enables me to offer all of the music needed for most functions, including wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours, as well as reception dance music. For corporate gatherings, themes can be chosen along similar lines to the concert presentations. We can do all-instrumental presentations as well, which are often preferred for background music situations.
Full-time professional guitarist, background in classical, Flamenco, Brazilian, jazz and pop styles. Good reader, good ear player.
Play acoustic and electric guitars, including 7-string (added bass range), as well as fretted and fretless electric basses.
Private lessons and masterclasses in North America and Europe with: John Williams, Oscar Ghiglia, Alexander LaGoya, Paco Pena, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Barney Kessell, Herb Ellis, Bill Leavitt. Performances with Boston Pops, Minnesota Symphony, Sergio Franchi, Johnny Mathis, Tom Jones, Man of La Mancha, Hello Dolly, and many others. I taught at New England Conservatory's Extension Division for many years, and was also on the faculty or staff of Berklee College of Music, Wesleyan University and Boston Conservatory of Music. I have recorded 8 CDs, my latest being "Romanza" on the Whaling City Sound label.
My solo repertoire ranges from Spanish and South American classical to Flamenco to Bossa and Beatles arrangements. I sing in a soft Jobim/Knopfler style, covering swing era classics, oldies, classic rock and lots of bossa-nova songs in Brazilian Portugese, Gypsy Kings in Spanish, and even a few tunes in Italian. I can work solo acoustic, with my own tracks, made in my studio, in a duo with percussion or sax/flute, or with a band of 3-5 pieces. My wardrobe includes tuxedo, suits, calypso style, Spanish style vest and tux shirt, everything from formal to casual, but always looking like a pro performer. I use the Bose L1 sound system for most engagements, but also own battery-powered amplification for sailboat or garden gigs. My best situations are concerts and listening clubs/restaurants, weddings, corporate functions or other somewhat sophisticated, mixed-age audiences. I can play for dancing with tracks or a band, but no metal, grunge or hip-hop.
Additional Booking Notes
In concert, we are comfortable with what any good professional organization provides in the way of sound and lighting support: sufficient monitors onstage, a nice warm lighting scheme, nothing fancy, a professional crew for support, a private area ("green room") for changing and preparation, an appropriate setup for merchandise sales; basically, the usual for acoustical concert acts. As far as functions go, we provide our own sound and lights for small functions (up to 200 guests), with the client supplying tech support for larger situations. We have worked in major casinos with full tech, as well as in aircraft hangars with hired sound and lights (Pratt & Whitney is one of our repeat clients); we work outdoors, on yachts and sailboats (battery-operated amplification is available when needed), and have performed for audiences of 12 (executive dinners) to 2000 (Mohegan Sun Annual Tribal dinners) and to as many as 5000 (opening for the Benny Goodman Orchestra at Harkness Memorial Park in Waterford, CT). As a solo performer, I often concertize in libraries and museums, and can provide my own sound reinforcement for audiences of up to 250 or so. We like to feel that we are easy to work with, and we don't make unreasonable demands, although we always are at the top of our game when everything works right. We will supply technical riders with contracts when warranted, but, again, they are generally quite reasonable. I have found through the years that a little bit of professional courtesy and trust goes a very long way.
Since we do lots of "theme" shows, we have several set lists, and we are constantly adding new material, including our own compositions. A solo concert set list would look like this:
"The World Of The Guitar": Caprichio Arabe by Francesco Tarrega; Afro-Cuban lullaby (traditional); Sevillanas (trad. Flamenco); Tangos del Amigos by Ron Murray; Prelude #1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos; A. C. Jobim Medley of So Danco Samba, Garoto de Ipanema, Agua de Beber, One Note Samba; Nuages by Django Reinhart, Romanza de Amor (trad. Spanish); Bulerias Finale (trad. Flamenco).
Ron Murray & Vuelo Concert Program: Caravan by Duke Ellington; Besame Mucho (sung in Spanish and English) by C. Velasquez; Take Five by Paul Desmond; Estate by Bruno Martino (sung in Italian and English); While My Guitar Gently Weeps by George Harrison (instrumental); Dreamer by A. C. Jobim (sung in Portugese and English); Brazilian Flower by Ron Murray; Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis; Norwegian Wood by Lennon/McCartney (instrumental finale).
For functions, we design set lists for each event, drawing on a very large repertoire of romantic background music, dance material from the Swing Era through Classic Rock hits, and clients' requests.
We also specialize in creating theme programs, including Songs Of Summer, Calypso/Reggae, Music of the Stage and Screen, Music From The Royal Courts of Europe, Big Band Hit Songs, and programs featuring the music of a single composer or a specific style of music, from Spanish classical and Flamenco to Jazz Hits of the 60s, etc., etc.
Influences & Inspiration
Popular music from the late 40s onwards (The Great American Songbook), as well as the great songs of the classic rock era and familiar jazz, movie and Broadway songs are all part of our musical menu. The Bossa-nova stars Jobim, Gilberto and Getz, the great guitarists from Segovia to Montoya to Santana and Feliciano, the many superb singers I accompanied over the years, from Sergio Franchi to Tom Jones and Johnny Mathis, and the wonderful singer/songwriters worldwide, from Carole King and James Taylor to Brazilian Caetano Veloso, Italian Bruno Martino and Eduardo Falu of Argentina are all profound influences, along with the great jazz masters such as Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck.
Completely dependent upon engagement