Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Anthony, Ron

Anthony, Ron, guitar; b. Pittsburgh, PA, 16 Decmeber 1933. At around 12 years of age, he started doing singing impressions of Billy Eckstine, Nat Cole, Frankie Lane and Herb Jeffries. George Shearing's music, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral (with Charlie Ventura) and the Woody Herman band were big influences. He studied clarinet for a short while. After picking up a guitar in a store one day, his whole life changed.

His first guitar teacher was Jerry Condorato (from Naples Italy). He taught what was called "classical plectrum guitar." Condoarto's influences were Oscar Moore, Django Reinhardt and Andre Segovia. He was also the first teacher of Ron Affif, Anthony's nephew.

At 18, Ron started doing little jobs around Pittsburgh and used to go on Jerry's jobs and sit in for tip money. In 1955 he became a member of the "7th Army Jazz Band" in Stuttgart, Germany. Upon returning to his hometown, he entered Duquesne University (where he now does guitar workshops) majoring in string bass with a piano minor. A year later he became restless with academia and moved to New York.

In 1962 he joined the George Shearing Quintet for 2 years and rejoined the group in 1971. He learned a lot from George, and vibraphonist Gary Burton. It was then that he started composing. In 1965 he moved to Los Angeles where he started doing television and session work in addition to a lot of jazz club dates with various groups (including his own).

After a return to the Shearing band for 4 years, his next significant job was with vocalist Frank Sinatra, from 1986 to 1995. Since then, he has been freelancing around the world with his own group, teaching and recording CD's. He's done a few recordings of his own and some with other artists

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