After seven years of study with Buffalo Philharmonic percussionist John Rowland, and four years of study on full scholarship with professor John Beck at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Ron Wagner came to California as the drummer for the jazz fusion group, Auracle. Auracle recorded two albums on Chrysalis Records and toured internationally.
In the years that followed he recorded and/or concertized on both drums and percussion with L. Subramanium, Larry Coryell, Peter Cetera, Steve Kujala, Chick Corea, Strunz and Farah, Ottmar Liebert, and others traveling throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Russia, Mexico, Asia, and Australia. He has played on commercials and TV/film soundtracks including Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote, The Equalizer, Salaam Bombay, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise and others (see Ron Wagner discography)
Ron began his study of ethnic percussion instruments when he began a serious study of tablas (the drums of north India) and the complex rhythms of Indian music with Harihar Rao. After three years, he became a private disciple of the great tabla master Pandit Taranath Rao, continuing for twelve more years, and has performed with Ashish Khan, Aloke Das Gupta, Rahul Sakyaputra, Sumita Kundu, and other Indian musicians.
As his musical horizon expanded further, Brazilian maestro Moacir Santos introduced him to the sophisticated rhythms of Brazil. Singers Kenya, Eliana Estevao, Claudya, Sonia Santos, percussionist Junior Homrich (music composer for The Emerald Forest), keyboardists Marcos Ariel, Antonio Adolfo, and guitarist-songwriter Geraldo Azavedo all involved Ron on both drums and percussion in their projects.
Ron began his foray into Middle Eastern drums beginning with the Avaz Dance Company. He performed drum solos on two Doiras (frame drums from Uzbekistan) and played Egyptian, Turkish, Armenian, Persian, and Central Asian drums with a variety of musicians and artists from the Middle Eastern community including Manoocher Sadeghi, Shahrokh Shahid, Davood Behboodhi, Manoocher Cheshmazar, and Heida to name a few. Ron studied the art of Arabic drums with Souhail Kaspar.
Ron has written music in a variety of styles. He composed Brazilian rainforest music and African drum ensemble/flute music for Killer Tracks Music Productions. Recently he wrote middle eastern music, Latin music and Afro-Techno music for Goldhil International Video's Belly Dance Fitness Workout series which is also released on CD under the titles "The Sensual Art of Bellydance" , "Rumba Exotica", and "Quantum Leap". His music for theater, including the children's show Flower Stories and the theater production "Dance Dreamer", has shown his own unique writing style. Ron also composes music for Rhythmic Visions, a dance and percussion company founded in 1990 with dancer Emily Mayne.
Throughout the summer of 2008 Ron created a percussion part for the Cirque Du Soleil show "Zed," and for three years performed with the Cirque du Soleil band in this production set in a specially built Cirque theater in Japan.
Ron then moved back to Los Angeles to play percussion and drums for "IRIS," a resident Cirque du Soleil production at the Dolby (previously Kodak) Theater in Hollywood.
Ron is endorsed by Paiste Cymbals and LP percussion.
Ron Wagner Discography - list of recordings and soundtracks on which Ron has performedRhythmic Visions CD Music - Music on CD composed and/or performed by Ron available for purchaseRhythmic Visions - music and dance theater
Emily Mayne - Dancer/Mime, Choreographer
Flower Stories -a show for children
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