Ron Leach - Drums
Ron joined Black Swan in October 2000. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon, where his musical upbringing was the public school system. In 1992 he began serious music studies with Mel Brown. At the time, Mel was with the Temptations and later Diana Ross. Ron began teaching at various music stores in the local communities and to this day has always maintained a student teaching schedule.
Prior to becoming a full-time, professional musician, Ron was in first-line management at Hewlett~Packard for 15 years. This commitment significantly limited his ability to travel on the music scene. During that time he performed with jazz, country western, blues, rock, polka, bluegrass and folk ensembles around the Willamette Valley, at a wide range of venues: clubs, casuals, theater, symphony concerts, and college and public dance classes.
In 1994 Ron decided to follow his dream of being a full time musician and moved to Portland. His first job was house drummer and Music Director for the Queen of the West sternwheeler on the Columbia River for over two years. After saving enough to have a home built, Ron began working on land in pit orchestras for various theaters around the Portland area. Concurrently, he was building a steady playing schedule with numerous jazz and blues bands.
Ron began working at the Drum Shop of Portland in 1998 where he became the Education Director. One of his steadiest gigs at the time was in a trio with Blues artists Paul DeLay and Janice Scroggins. Ron says: "We were playing some "vintage" blues sounds. Unknowingly, this was helping me prepare for the Black Swan challenge." Just before joining the Swans, Ron began attending intense percussion studies in Havana, Cuba for several weeks at a time. "Probably only other drummers will understand what an impact these studies have had on my overall music outlook." Ron currently studies the sounds of Baby Dodds, Sonny Greer and other early jazz percussion masters. "I am enjoying my tenure with Black Swan and helping forge a great rhythm section feel."
Ron's most memorable performance was with the legendary Charles Rousse. Rousse played a lifetime with Thelonious Monk. "We performed together at the LaSalle Stewart Performing Arts Center in Corvallis. I did the afternoon workshop with him and then the concert later that evening. It was amazing to me how this master 'directed' the band through his solos."
Ron is featured on the these Black Swan recordings:
Ron's current discography also includes:
- Neil Gladstone and Company: Sleep Neat
- The Maharimba Band: Speed Bump
- The Vanilla Syncopators: Featuring Harvey Brooks
- The Aebi/Coulsen Band: Present Moment
- Quartette Barbette: Live
- John Tenbrook: I'd Rather be in Oregon