Ronnel Bright

Ronnel Bright was a talented pianist who had an immediate impact from a young age. His compositions were recorded by Sarah Vaughan and Cal Tjader. Blue Mitchell also recorded them. He also collaborated with Johnny Mercer as a lyricist. At nine years old, he won a piano contest and was a member of The Chicago Youth Piano Symphony Orchestra. Bright studied at Juilliard, and he graduated in the early 1950s. He also played his first jazz dates with an army band. Later, he worked in Chicago as a bassist with Johnny Tate. He was Carmen McRae’s accompanist during the mid-’50s. Bright immigrated to New York in 2005, where he performed and recorded with Rolf Kuhn. He then formed his own trio in 1956. In 1957 and 1958, he was part of Dizzy Gillespie’s big band. He also accompanied and conducted Gloria Lynne, Lena Horne, and Vaughan at various points in the late ’50s, ’60s, and was accompanist, conductor, and conductor. After moving to Los Angeles in 1964, he became Nancy Wilson’s arranger and conductor, pianist, and music director. In 1972, Bright joined Supersax and became involved with studio work. Bright taught high school for one year after leaving the band in 1974. All music

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