Hi Everybody,

After a couple of years I’m back with a new website! I’m very happy with it and will do my upmost best to keep it up to date for all of you.

The biggest news now is that dutch Jazz pianist Rob van Bavel and me are going to record a duo cd… titled A LIFE IN SONGS..

Very exciting.

You will find more information about it here on the website. Other news is that I am back as the host and singer by The Ramblers (www.theRamblers.nl). I hope you like this new website just as much as I do.. And I hope we will meet soon!

Ronald Douglas

A LIFE IN SONGS

This is the title of the duo-project Jazzsinger Ronald Douglas and Jazzpianist Rob van Bavel. Both are well known in the National and International Jazz world. the two know each other since 1992. When they start working together in several Jazzclubs in Holland and abroad. This led to a first cd of Ronald with a great trio with of course Rob at the piano. This cd was the start of a broader recognition. Together they worked on 4 cd's yet. On each one is a duo. These duo's inspired them for this new project which will be planned to record at January 2024

A LIFE OF SONGS
The title tells it all. Many things that we all experienced or experience are subjects in the songs Ronald together with Rob choose.
It will be a recording with, some not so well known, songs, some songs in exciting arrangements or through composed…..of Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Mercer, David Raskin, Jeremy Lubbock, Johnny Mandel etc.

Rob and Ronald are looking forward to the recording. We will keep you posted!

De titel van het duo project dat Jazz zanger Ronald Douglas en Jazzpianist Rob van Bavel zijn aangegaan. Alle twee zeker geen onbekenden in de Nationale en Internationale Jazzwereld. En gezamenlijk staan zij al een fiks aantal jaren in contact en hebben zij een 4 tal cds gemaakt.

Met daarop altij een duo. Uiteindelijk staan die aan de basis van dit project dat in Januari 2024 op cd zal komen te staan.

A LIFE IN SONGS
De titel zegt het enigzins. Veel onderwerpen die wij allemaal in een leven tegenkomen, komen in de songs die Ronald samen met Rob heeft uitgekozen aan de orde..

Wat onbekende werken, spannende arrangementen, doorgecomponeerde songs etc. Van: Billy strayhorn, A.C. Jobim, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Mandel etc.

Rob en Ronald kijken naar de opnames uit.

Biography

For information about Ronald you can click on one of these tabs above.
RONALD DOUGLAS, Jazz Vocalist and Jazz Educator, resides in The Netherlands, but he has been an active, and a most sought- after musician Internationally for more than 35 years.

early years

His love of music began with the influence of his Mother, who loved the great singers. She enthusiastically collected their recordings and played them at home for her son. Ronald grew up surrounded by these great voices every day of his youth.

Ronald began his musical life with the study of the Clarinet, and the songs of Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney, Nat Cole, Jim Reeves and Matt Monro, to name a few. To this day, Ronald credits his Mom with “pushing” him into the world of great voices and songs.

Ronald was captivated by the music, and he began to wonder if, in the future, there would be a place for him in the musical world that he was dreaming about. It took a while for him to believe that he had that special talent to become a jazz singer, even as he continued to study the Clarinet.

As luck would have it, Ronald entered a High School Radio talent contest singing a Dean Martin song called Return To Me. Ronald won the contest. The considerable praise that he received, kept his jazz dream alive.

Music as a career was put on “hold” for a while after high school. Ronald worked as a Social Worker, helping abused children. Nevertheless, music remained a very important part of his life. He began to collect every record he could find of Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme. It was these two singers who had the greatest influence on Ronald’s future style and jazz goals.

At the age of 28, Ronald decided to enroll as a full-time music student at the Music Conservatory in the city of Hilversum, Holland. Dutch Radio and TV programs were all broadcast from the Studios there, and consequently, Hilversum was a very important environment in which to develop his musical goals. Ronald’s private voice teacher there was the American Singer, Deborah Brown. Ms. Brown recognized Ronald’s outstanding talent, and became his mentor and supporter. Ronald took advantage of all the knowledge and experience offered by his teachers at the Conservatory. He continued to develop his talent and skills and soon attracted the attention of important business and creative people who would take him further toward his musical destiny.

music / recordings and performances

While still in his first year at the Conservatory, Ronald had the chance to sing live with the famous Radio Orchestra, called The Skymasters. The collaboration was a huge success. For Ronald, this success paved the way in increased visibility and he began to receive many invitations to perform the music he loved, especially in Radio gigs.

Ronald began to sing on a regular basis with a very popular Big Band called The Timeless Orchestra. He began traveling with them as well, touring Europe and Japan.

He was also invited to sing with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra for Dutch Radio Broadcast during this exciting period.

He sang special arrangements, orchestrated by the Dutch arranger and conductor, Rob Pronk, as well as the charts of the American composer-arranger John Clayton. As his reputation grew, he began to perform with the finest musicians in the Netherlands.

Douglas recorded his very first CD, Pieces of Dreams in 1995. The trio consisted of brilliant musicians: Rob van Bavel (piano), Henk Havorhock (bass), and Hans van Oosterhout (drums). This CD received critical acclaim, and Ronald would record the next three CDs with the same trio, augmented with horns, or strings, as needed.

Ronald received more invitations to perform, and the bookings increased substantially. He and his trio were invited to perform at major Jazz Festivals: North Sea Jazz Festival, and the band toured the countries of Israel, Brazil, Indonesia, and India, adding fans in each country.

This core group and Ronald recorded “This Is New” in 1997, adding horns, “From Bing To Sting” in 1999, with Trio and Strings.“Swing Works” was released in 2001, with Dutch Pianist Rob van Kreeveld on Piano.

In 2006, Ronald released his fifth CD called Lotus Blossom. He submitted the recording to an online Worldwide Jazz Competition in the USA called the East Coast Jazz Festival. First prize was to come to America and perform in concert in Washington, DC. Ronald was the first European singer to ever win this event! The piano trio for the concert was led by Chris Grasso. This event allowed Ronald to meet and sing with American Vocalists Rebecca Parris and Ernie Andrews, who were excited by Ronald’s talent, and predicted that Ronald would be enjoying a solid jazz career for a long time.

Douglas expanded his singing to include coaching and teaching jazz voice, and in 2002, The Manhattan School of Music Jazz Department invited Ronald to NYC to direct a Master Class for Vocalists. Also, during this period, Ronald became a very respected vocal teacher in his own country’s Conservatory in Hilversum where he had previously been a student. He also taught at the Conservatory in Gent (Belgium), and also at the Internationally respected Amsterdam Conservatory, which still attracts music students from around the globe.

During this time of teaching, each year Mr. Douglas began a new and unique policy. He organized Dutch Theater Projects in a Dutch Cabaret style for his classes at ArtEZ, where he was teaching. He chose the themes for the shows, and as Director, he organized Production teams and the talent. Each year, these Theater Projects were a huge success, and very exciting and valuable for the students. The productions traveled to different cities in The Netherlands, each night for one week. They were a great experience for the cast, who enjoyed good reviews from the Press, and the advantage of having had a marvelous theatrical experience. In these theater projects, Ronald taught his ‘singers’ the ability to sing and connect with a song in their own language first. In conceiving the shows’ formats, Ronald utilized both American Standard Song Form, as well as Dutch Standards. Until Professor Douglas retired in 2023, he taught for 25 years Jazz Voice at The ArtEZ Music Conservatory in Zwolle (Netherlands), attracting many young singers who had now become Ronald’s fans, and were very anxious to study with him privately.

Ronald has worked with many fine Dutch Singers and Musicians. He has performed with Kevin Mahoganny, Mark Murphy, Lee Konitz, Rebecca Parris, and Nancy Marano. Ronald and Nancy met when Nancy was teaching in the Artist in Residence Program at the Amsterdam and Rotterdam Conservatories. Ronald has also performed with several excellent International Orchestras: The RIAS Big Band in Germany, The Spanish Radio Orchestra, and The Dutch Swing College Band.

In July, 2003, Ronald was featured singer in a Tribute to Nat King Cole, with The Small Big Band of Johan Plomp in Amsterdam at the famed Concertgebouw. Ronald is currently planning a brand new recording project with his favorite pianist, Rob van Bavel. It will be called “A Life In Songs” - Ronald and Rob will make music as a Duo this time. Available in early 2024. Details on Ronald’s Website and FaceBook.
Ronald Douglas

Deze Nederlandse Jazz zanger zit al meer dan 35 jaar in het vak, en geniet al vanaf het begin van zijn carrière Nationale en Internationale erkenning.

Het winnen, al eerste Europeaan, van een Worldwide Online Competitie in 2006 met het opsturen van zijn cd Lotus Blossom, heeft dat alleen maar bevestigd. De winst was een optreden tijdens het Eastcoast Jazzfestival in Washington USA.

Hij heeft de afgelopen jaren overal opgetreden met een trio of wel met geweldige orkesten. En dat begon al tijdens zijn studie aan het Conservatorium in Hilversum waar hij les had van USA Singer Deborah Brown. In zijn eerste jaar was hij de zanger van de Timeless Orchestra dat weer resulteerde tot optredens met het Metropole Orchestra, Skymasyers, The RIAS Bigband, Mariniers Kapel der Koninklijke Marine, etc.

Ronald is een van de vocale parels van de Nederlandse Jazz. Zijn showmanship en soepele benaderingen van teksten en improvisatie maken hem tot een veel gevraagd entertainer en vooral Jazz zanger. Hij wordt veelal vergeleken met zangers als Mel Torme en Mark Murphy. Die trouwens samen met Sarah Vaughan zijn grootste inspiratie helden zijn. Daarnaast is hij een gerespecteerd Zang/Masterclass/ Workshop docent. En is hij betrokken bij een aantal Conservatoria in Nederland. Hij heeft lesgegeven aan Het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Gent (België), ArtEZ Conservatorium Enschede en Zwolle Hij geeft al een fiks aantal jaar een masterclass aan het Conservatorium in Amsterdam.

Masterclasses buitenland:

Musikschule Vaduz ( Liechtenstein)

Manhattan School of Music (New York USA) Farabi Musicschool (Jakarta, Indonesia) Escola de Musica da Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil)

Ronald heeft 5 cd’s op zijn naam staan. Met geweldige musici:

Pieces of Dreams

This is New

From Bing to Sting

Swing Works

Lotus Blossom

Ronald is trots op het feit dat hij eigenlijk van het begin van zijn studie met de beste musici en dirigenten heeft mogen werken en/of op het podium heeft mogen staan: Rita Reys, Greetje Kauffeld, Denise Jannah, Edwin Rutten, Jerry van Rooyen, Rob Pronk, Het Metropole Orkest, Rob van Kreeveld, The Dutch Swing College Band, The Ramblers, Henk Haverhoek, Hans van Oosterhout, Laura Fygi, Cor Bakker, John Clayton jr. etc.

Tijdens zijn studie tourde hij al door heel Europa. Later kwamen daar bij: Japan, India , Israel, Brazilië, Indonesië etc.

Nu is hij de vaste zanger/presentator van The Ramblers en is hij samen met Rob van Bavel bezig met hun duo project; A Life in Songs dat in Januari 2024 zal worden opgenomen.

Agenda

DECEMBER 2023:

10 Met de Central Heat Bigband 14.3o uur Hotel Bistro de Kruisberg
16 Workshop en Concert Met Bigband Houten Concert: 20.30 uur Theater aan de slinger Houten
23 Duo optreden met Hans Kwakkernaat Society Shop Arnhem 13.00 uur Bakkerstraat 75a

JANUARY 2024:

6 Duo Optreden met Rob van Bavel …A Life in Songs Nieuwjaarsconcert 15.30 uur Utrecht (info: almdapper@gmail.com)
   Duo Optreden met Rob van Bavel…A Life in Songs Nieuwjaarsconcert Tindalvilla in Bussum 20.30 uur (info@tindal.nl)
7 The Ramblers & Ronald Douglas ft Janne Schra (Theater de Maaspoort) 16.00 uur Venlo
13 & 14 Opname CD A Life in Songs Duo Project Rob van Bavel en Ronald Douglas
14 Januari 16.00 uur Met publiek erbij Reserveer: MCOgebouw.nl
20 The Ramblers & Ronald Douglas ft. Janne Schra (Theater de Meerse) 20.15 uur Hoofddorp
21 The Ramblers & Ronald Douglas ft Janne Schra (Het Concertgebouw) 16.00 uur Amsterdam
27 The Ramblers & Ronald Douglas ft Janne Schra (Theater de Kom) 20.15 uur Nieuwegein
28 The Ramblers & Ronald Douglas ft. Janne Schra (Chassee Theater) 11.00 uur Breda


FEBRUARI

18 Ronald Douglas & Trio (Rob van Bavel p., Kasper Kalf b., & Marc Schenk drs.) Het Podium 15.00 uur Hoogeveen

Recordings

Lotus Blossom (2005)

Track Listing

1 Just One Of Those Things
2 Waltz For Debby/In April
3 Lotus Blossom Days
4 Alone Together
5 I Didn't Know About You
6 The Moon
7 Why Did I Choose You?
8 A Beautiful Friendship
9 Always And Forever Yours
10 My Favorite Things
11 The Music
12 Night And Day

Pieces of Dreams

Track Listing

1 A Summers Day
2 Thou Swell
3 I’m Glad There Is You
4 Devil May Care
5 Where Do You Start
6 The New Thing
7 Someone To Watch Over Me
8 Old Devil Moon
9 Embraceable You
10 Dolphin Dance
11 Skylark
12 That Old Black Magic
13 You Must Believe In Spring/Pieces Of Dreams

Swing Works (2002)

Track Listing

  1. No Moon at All
  2. There's No You
  3. You're My Everything
  4. Someone to Light Up My Life
  5. You Turned the Tables on Me
  6. Girls of 13
  7. My Shining Hour
  8. Two for the Road
  9. Since I Fell for You
  10. Day by Day
  11. Night We Called It a Day
  12. I Thought About You
  13. With Every Breath I Take
From Bing To Sting (2001)

Track Listing

1 Moonlight Becomes You
2 Maybe September
3 Baby It's Cold Outside
4 Where Or When
5 Born Free
6 Antonio's Song
7 Tears In Heaven
8 Truly
9 Claire
10 How Do You Keep The Music Playing
11 Pra Dizer Adeus
12 More Love
13 Fragile

This Is New (1997)

Track Listing

1 I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over
2 Born To Be Blue/Stranger In Town
3 Everything I Love
4 A Lot Of Livin To Do
5 When Lights Are Low
6 This Is New
7 I Concentrate On You
8 All Or Nothing At All
9 Peace At Last
10 I Have Dreamed
11a Love Walked In
11b On A Clear Day

About teaching & workshops

Ronald Douglas is an experienced and well respected teacher for several years. He is teaching at the ArtEZ Music Conservatory in Zwolle and he is a regular Workshop Teacher at the Music Conservatory in Amsterdam. 

His experience as a (workshop)teacher were the last 25 years at:

 Amsterdam and Groningen Conservatory

 Musik Schule Vaduz(Liechtenstein)

 The Manhattan School of Music New York (U.S.A)

 Farabi Music School (Jakarta, Indonesia)

 Escola de Musica da Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil)

The last 10 year Ronald is very enthusiastic about the ESTILL Modell. Better known as EVT. He invites his friend and collegue ANNE-MARIE SPEED (UK.) (www.thevoiceexplained.com ) every year to do a LEVEL 1 and 2 Course or other courses related to EVT and more practical courses like DICTION, Acting Through Singing breath support through EVT etc.. These courses are very important and open for: singers, vocal teachers, voice therapists, actors etc. etc. This whole modell influenced my singing AND teaching a lot. Contact me if you're interested.

Subjects in Ronalds Workshops and or teaching/coaching lessons:

  1. How to make a connection between technique and interpretation?
  2. Diction. How to use the consonants in singing? And how can you ACT with this?
    3. How to communicate with the band in situations like workshops with a band
    4. timing and rhytmic interpretation related to the worlds of the song
    5. Scat. But on WHAT and HOW? And does it make sense?
    6. How to select effective repertoire 
    7. Performance and presentation
    8. How to deal with performance stress
    9. Listening and watching Jazz Cd's/ DVD's and what we can learn from that

PRIVATE TEACHING:

Since September 2014 Ronald made some space in his agenda for private (coaching) lessons. If you are interested or if you want some information bout that, just contact him.

The teachers/colleague's who inspired him a lot were and stil are:

Deborah Brown ( www.jazzvox.com )
Judy Niemack ( www.judyniemack.com )
Mark Murphy
Nancy Marano ( www.nancymarano.com )
Annette Andriessen (Classical)

Contact

For information & bookings: