Recommended if You Like

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Solo Instrumental Urban/R&B: Northern Soul Easy Listening: Instrumental Pop Jazz: Soul-Jazz Urban/R&B: Deep Soul

By Location
United States - United States United States - New York United States - NY - New York City

Amazon UK Music Page Offical Website Booking Info Buy Ronnie's Music Ronnie's Amazon Music Ronnie's iTunes Music Official Google+ Page Official Twitter Page Facebook Fan Page Official YouTube Page Sell your music everywhere

Ronnie Grieco

Ronnie Grieco – Legendary Sax Man

Saxophone music player born and raised in New Jersey, USA, Ronnie Grieco grew up in a time when soulful R&B music was beginning to bubble to the surface of the nation’s attention. Ronnie started his musical introduction with the loving encouragement of his father who gave him his first saxophone at the age of 8. Says Ronnie, “I haven’t played a single note since that time that wasn’t inspired by my father’s loving belief in me.”

Ronnie played his first professional gig at a New Jersey YMCA dance when he was 13. The real breakthrough to the soul of this budding musician came from the generous mentoring of Bill Doggett (“Honky Tonk” fame – King Records 1956). Ronnie would hang outside the doors of the “black” clubs every chance he could get just to listen to the great R&B and soul men of the day. One such venue was the famous Downbeat Club in New Jersey where a curious Doggett eventually noticed the teenage Ronnie, with sax always in hand and eager to learn. Doggett took Ronnie under his wing, invited him in – against all public taboos – and the rest was musical history and delight. In no time, this quick-study “white boy” was allowed on stage to play with the master, a testament to his ability and true soul. Playing with Doggett became a routine for Ronnie and early on he accompanied a young singer in that band named Chuck Hatcher, later to be known as the great Edwin Starr. Ronnie continued to frequent The Downbeat and sat in and was mentored by several other gifted R&B soul artists.

Benny Gordon and The Soul Brothers

Benny GordonStill in his teens, Ronnie formed a local band and played a few small gigs in New Jersey, before auditioning for some gigs in NY City. One such audition was at the famed Trudi Heller’s, where Trudi was auditioning bands to play during intermissions for the great regulars who performed at her club (Jimmy Castor, Benny Gordon and The Soul Brothers as well as Joey Dee). After a short audition Ronnie’s band got the intermission gig. Ronnie recalls “We played that night (if you can call it that) after Benny’s first set, he was incredible, his band was truly great…at the end of the night Benny asked me to come to his rehearsal the next day with my horn.” That day and the ensuing night Ronnie at Benny’s request became a member of Benny’s Soul Brothers band. “For the next three and a half years I had the great pleasure of playing with truly gifted band mates (Benny Gordon, Austin, Perry, Shockey, Max and Tommy) and great soul artists. We recorded and charted some great soul tunes, as well as played the great venues of the day, including the famed Apollo Theater several times. It was fun, always fun. Besides their great talents, they were my brothers; to a man they were kind, good souls. They will forever be dear to my heart as was that time in my life and man did we make some great soul music!”

Joey Dee and The Starliters

Joey Dee & Ronnie Grieco 2012While Ronnie was a member of Benny’s band he was being noticed by more than a few of the”greats” of the period playing the great venues, including Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. One “great” with particular interest, was Joey Dee. Benny had some business opportunities he wanted to pursue and spend some time with. That’s when Joey asked Perry Smith, the Soul Brothers drummer and Ronnie if they would like to tour with him. That tour lasted the better part of 4 decades accompanied by great artists, great musicians and long enduring friendships. As Ronnie says, “Joey Dee will always be my brother, a consummate pro, and more importantly a “great man”. We played some great venues and always had fun, always!”

Among the many “greats” that have played and shared the stage and their “hearts” with Ronnie over the years:

Jackie Wilson, The Shirelles, Wilson Picket, The Treniers, Benny Troy, Maxine Brown, Bobby Lewis, Little Anthony, Arthur Prysock, Bill Haley, Johnny Thunder, Jerry Blavat, Gene Chandler, Edwin Starr, Frankie Ford, Bobby Valli, Bill Doggett, (David Brigati, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish, of “The Rascals”), Phil Granito (The Duprees), Jerry Butler, The Chiffons, The Marvelettes, Les Paul, Little Eva, Johnny Farina (of Santo & Johnny), Benny Gordon, Sammy Gordon, Odell Mickens of “Wallstreet”, and of course Joey Dee.

Ronnie lives in New Jersey and continues to perform and record saxophone music. He recently hosted a music radio show, “The Legends Of Soul Hour” on Soul Guy Radio, mentor and provide inspiration across the generations. His latest CD is titled “Heart & Soul”, and is available at

Music history recollections and bio written by James Rosa