Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Kaplan, Ron (Ronald Steven)
Kaplan, Ron (Ronald Steven), singer; b. Hollywood, CA, 15 July 1953. He grew up in Los Angeles and lives in Santa Cruz, CA. His parents are Willyne Erbsen (1930-2002) and Ira Kaplan (b.1931). His siblings are Julia (b.1951), Richard (b.1956), and Jana (b.1959). He grew up in a musical household. His father was a trumpet player during the west coast jazz scene of the 1950's in L.A. His mother was an avid fan of vocal music during the heyday of the great American Jazz singers. The atmosphere was filled with music.
During his school years he developed his musical, acting, and comedy skills performing with the music and theatre departments and competing in speech tournaments. After high school he continued to study acting, standup comedy, music and broadcasting. In 1976 he received his Associate In Arts degree from L.A. Valley College. He then relocated up the California coast to the Monterey Bay area in central California to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California Santa Cruz. During this time he continued to write and perform music. Along the way came a marriage, a family, and for the past 20 years, a successful Insurance Agency in Aptos, California. During this time Ron continued to study and absorb as much as possible about the history and discography of American jazz.
He is the feature vocalist for his hometown jazz ensemble Warmth that has been performing together for the past 30 years in Santa Cruz. In addition to founding Kapland Records in 1997 and completing his debut recording as Artist and Executive Producer, he has been performing regularly in the Monterey Bay area. RK has performed in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and London. Ron was a finalist in the 2004 Jazz Ambassadors program through the Department of State and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Some of the artists RK has performed with are Pianists: Shelly Berg, Geoff Eales, Smith Dobson, Tom Garvin, Mark Levine & Jessica Williams. Guitarist: Larry Scala, Bassists: Art Davis, Stan Poplin & Tom Warrington, horn players: Paul Contos, Ted Curson, Dmitri Matheny, Donny McCaslin & Kenny Stahl, and Drummers: Dan Brubeck, Donald Dean, Tootie Heath, Peppe Merolla & Matt Wilson.
In 2001 he rediscovered his old love of acting and comedy and has appeared in print media, extra work and Independent film. Kaplan is the Executive Director of the 501 (C) (3) not-for-profit Foundation: American Songbook Preservation Society, founded in 2004 to continue the legacy of this great body of work and truly American cultural treasure for future generations to discover and enjoy ( www.GreatAmericanSongbook.org).
His children are Amber (b.1982, bass) and Ryan (b.1984, drums).
High Standards (1997); Lounging Around (1999); Dedicated (2001); Jazz Ambassadors (2003)
Musicians Weekly CTSCC 1999, 2001
BETonJAZZ Jazz Discovery 2000
Lounging Around with Ron Kaplan the TV Series
Websites: http://www.ronkaplan.com/artssantacruz.htm 1998
Kapland Records p.o.box 742 Aptos, Ca. 95001
(831) 687-0278 ph (831) 685-2609 fx
website: www.ronkaplan.com or click on Ron's site at EuroClubdeJazz
1999 Kapland Records