Ron Oswanski

Bill Carter & the Presbybop Quintet
March 7, 2019
Dave Rickenberg
March 7, 2019

Born in Toledo on March 17, 1974, Oswanski started serious piano studies as a child with Mark Kieswetter, an Ohio jazz legend whose credits include gigs with Zoot Sims, Jack Sheldon, James Moody, and a three-year stint as musical director for Jon Hendricks. At the same time, Oswanski got intimately familiar with the accordion, often performing with his father’s polka band. He started gigging widely as a precocious high school pianist, receiving invaluable experience with numerous Cincinnati tri-state jazz veterans, including Jimmy Cook, Paul Keller, Pete Siers, Ernie Krivda and Brad Sharp, who all generously mentored him. As an electric bassist, he gigged widely with Toledo jazz piano stalwart Eddie Abrams. It was Oswanski’s love of bass lines that drew him to the mighty B-3, an instrument introduced to him by Bill Heid, a well-traveled organist who has earned a cult reputation among B-3 fans.

Oswanski has been keeping company with formidable musicians for more than two decades. Since entering the jazz big leagues in the early 1990s as a teenager recruited by Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band, he’s collaborated with some of jazz’s most creative figures, performing with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Tim Ries and The Rolling Stones Project, Jack Wilkins and Mike Clark, Milt Hinton, Myron Walden’s Countryfied, Dave Berger and the Sultans of Swing, as well as popular music icons The Temptations, Aretha Franklin and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Vibraphone master Dave Samuels, the driving force behind the Grammy Award-winning Caribbean Jazz Project, launched the Organik Vibe Trio several years ago as a vehicle for collaborating with Oswanski, leading to the enthralling 2010 session Moscow. He also plays widely with Israeli guitarist Oz Noy’s trio with drummer Nate Smith, the Dan Willis Band with percussionist John Hollenbeck, guitarist Sheryl Bailey’s Trio, and Carl Fischer’s (Billy Joel) Groove Project.