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Canadian Heritage

Ron Paley


RON PALEY (pianist, electric bassist, and composer) is a musician based in Winnipeg. Paley studied piano, jazz arranging and jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Before graduation, he was hired by Buddy Rich to play electric bass in his touring big band. He later joined Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, recording three albums, including an album by Frank Sinatra. Paley also studied piano with Richie Beirach and arranging with Bob Brookmeyer.

After returning to Winnipeg, Paley formed the Ron Paley Big Band in 1976. Since its inception, the group has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Royal Winnipeg Ballet and has recorded a number of albums. In 2011, the group released Bring ‘Em Back, which features the score of a big band musical written by Paley.

As a composer, Paley has been commissioned by the Winnipeg Singers, Royal Canadian College of Organists, and National Arts Centre to compose and arrange works for organ, choir, big band, and symphony orchestra.

Other recordings include Boxton, which features various ensembles and was released in 1977, and Sea of Time, a trio recording released in 1999.