Ron Gutierrez
Gig Seeker Pro

Ron Gutierrez

Kansas City, Kansas, United States

Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Band Jazz Soul


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"Gutierrez wowed the audience"

Gutierrez wowed the the Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival. - Topeka Capital Journal

"Gutierrez performs at Arts Center for the first time"

“Other arms reach out to me/Other eyes smile tenderly/Still in peaceful dreams I see/The road leads back to you,” Ron Gutierrez sang in a smooth voice on Saturday at Manhattan Arts Center.

In the audience, several people closed their eyes or nodded their heads in time to the music. At the end of the number, some added an enthusiastic “Yeah” or whistle to the applause.

Gutierrez, a renowned Kansas City, Mo., jazz vocalist sang the Ray Charles song “Georgia on my Mind” during the first of two hour-long sets. The performance was part of the arts center’s Swing City Jazz series.

"First of all, he’s an outstanding vocalist,” said Tess Purvis, director of marketing and programs at the center, after the first set. “Everybody loves it.”

He was accompanied by Craig Akin on acoustic and electric bass, drummer Kevin Wickliffe, and Charles Williams on the keyboard and piano, as well as associate professor of music Wayne Goins on the guitar.

“I liked it a lot,” said Tracy Peters, freshman in business. “I’m a big fan of jazz, mainly Ray Charles, Nat King Cole.”

Peters said she preferred the older songs to contemporary jazz.

“I liked both sets, but I liked the first set the best,” she said. “It was romantic and slower. The second was a little more contemporary. I enjoyed it.”

Gutierrez, who has played at large venues across the country, said he enjoyed singing at the Arts Center for the first time.

“It’s nice, intimate,” he said. “Something this size, it’s perfect, really.”

Patrons were welcome to walk around during the performance.

“We like to keep it really mellow,” said Goins, who helps coordinate the jazz series. “It’s almost like a bar, nightclub and a cabaret all in one. Not a bad seat in the house.”

Goins met and played with Gutierrez and the others for the first time Saturday night, without having practiced. During the performance, the musicians looked to one another, signaling things like key changes and solos.

“We talked about it before he came here,” Goins said. “I told him I’d like to join in the fun. His reputation is impeccable. With the level of musicianship he’s on - and I think we’re both on that level – we’re able to just play off of each other.”

Goins said it was easy to play along, because he was familiar with the songs.

“His repertoire was stuff I grew up with,” Goins said. “All that music was right up my alley. We didn’t have to practice. These guys are great musicians. They make you proud to be a jazz musician.”

“Excellent, excellent vocals,” said Victoria L’Ecuyer, a volunteer at the arts center. “I think it’s our best one this season. I was enthralled.”

Goins said he hopes to have Gutierrez and the others back as soon as he can, possibly for a Valentine’s Day show in February.

For more information on Gutierrez and his music, visit
- The Kansas State University Collegian

"Ron Gutierrez: Live At The MAC, Volumes One And Two"

This double CD, recorded last October at the Manhattan (KS) Arts Center is just what you'd expect from seasoned pro, Ron Gutierrez. Several adjectives attach appropriately to his sound: warm, personable, effortless – not to be dismissive of his energy, witness opener “Route 66.” (BTW, although the rhythm section's intro is a clinic in swing, it isn't the singer's key. The transition is a winker –

Charles Williams' rhapsodic piano ushers in “Since I Fell for You,” the breathy ballad mostly front-phrased, the second bridge punctuated with facile leaps. Note: Gutierrez has a full complement of vocal tools which he uses discriminately. A “Big Noise...” bass intro punches up “Autumn Leaves,” the introductory chorus featuring voice/bass only. (Ron's phrasing/voicings remind me of Lloyd Schad, one of my all-time favorites.) Akin's stalwart bass fills the donut and Wayne Goins contributes a roarin' guitar solo, the first of many.

“ Georgia ” follows, a l2/8 feel underpinning Gutierrez's savvy tenderness. Another great piano solo – each is praiseworthy – offers a polished excursion through the familiar changes. After mellow bossa “Night and Day,” Akin's bass once more accompanies the reflective baritone's “One For My Baby,” wherein he effectively preaches the bridge, then delivers the outchorus with resolute torment. Nice.

The liner notes refer to a “bonus track” but you'll have to wait a bit for the sound. I thought my player was malfunctioning but after a l-o-n-g pause, a rompin' “Teach Me Tonight” emerged. Gutierrez pulls out his pop chops and sails through this (second) closer with surprise guests Jim Mair (tenor) and Rod Fleeman (guitar) delivering masterful turns. There's also a fine bass solo but the liner notes don't reference the player and Gutierrez's acknowledgement is unintelligible.

Kevin Wickliffe's cadence introduces “Summertime,” Volume Two's funky first cut. Grover Washington 's cyclical “Just the Two of Us” follows, a quasi-rock crowd-pleaser with Goins contributing a brief but nice comp behind the vocal. Gutierrez has impeccable chart-sense, his scatting predictably smooth and clever.

“The Look of Love” is true to the vocal blueprint, also boasting Goins' Benson-like double stops and Williams' passionate keyboard. “When I Fall in Love” is butter-melting tender with only a slight woof: it's “forever” and “never” - but with Gutierrez's sonorous warmth and the ability to utilize grace note attacks and releases at will, who cares? A perfect piano solo – complete command and control guiding the romantic ideation – completes this choice.

The unconventional intervals which characterize Stevie Wonder's “It Knocks Me Off My Feet” are no problem for R.G. and this version provides a major seam for Goins' ravishing guitar solo. Check out this singer's falsetto in “Going in Circles,” the intense (and rangy) ballad made even more special via Akin's pensive bass interlude.

Goins' sassy guitar atop a familiar syncope immediately reveals what's next (and last): Benson's “On Broadway,” nicely covered – and then some – with a fiery scat solo and yet another Goins gem. If it seems I've neglected Kevin Wickliffe's contribution to these discs, it's unintentional. Having once been married to a drummer (the father of my two incredible offspring), I know how they often fail to feel the love. Wickliffe is content to serve as timekeeper, punctilious...pulsating...imaginative (p.r.n.) and – here – delivers an extended duet with Goins, then (briefly) Akin, with time to spare (pun intended). This one wins for distance at 8:03 .

Gutierrez is enchanting, the rhythm section is worth the price alone, and all deserve your attention and support for an ambitious effort fully realized.

—Carol Comer

- J.A.M. (Jazz Ambassadors Magazine)



"Live At the MAC - Volume 1"
"Live At the MAC - Volume 2"

"The Very Thought of You"

"Smooth Soul"


Al Williams - "See for Yourself"
"Who'm I Tryin' to Fool" - Vocalist
The Noise Factory - Washington, DC

Kerry Strayer Orchestra -
"Christmas in Kansas City"
"Let It Snow" - Vocalist
"Christmas Time is Here" - Vocalist
"White Christmas" - Vocalist
"This Christmas" - Vocalist
Soundtrek Studios - Kansas City, MO

John Jaramillo/Orlando Zuniga -
"On the Shoulders of Giants"
"11th Hour" - Vocalist
"Un Solo Camino" - Vocalist
Exceptions Studios - Topeka, KS

John Jaramillo/Orlando Zuniga-
"Go to the Heart"
"Go to the Heart" - Vocalist
"City of Peace" - Vocalist
"For Love's Sake" - Vocalist
Exceptions Studios - Topeka, KS

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra -
"A Toast to Sinatra - Live"
10 Songs - Vocalist

The United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own" -
"A Holiday Celebration" - w/Special Guest Kathy Mattea
"Feliz Navidad" - Vocalist



Vocal versatility. For Ron Gutierrez, it developed naturally through his exposure from an early age to a wide array of music. His father, saxophonist Tony Gutierrez, was a founding member of the Topeka Jazz Workshop. His mother loved country music. Ron sang for Sunday church services and developed a repertoire of contemporary Christian songs for high school liturgies.

Drawing on all those influences - jazz, country, Christian, pop, R&B – he began to hone a style of his own. His love for jazz and R&B blended into a soulful jazz reflected in every song he sings.

At the University of Kansas, he performed in a vocal jazz ensemble and sang in Kansas City clubs as a soloist and back-up vocalist. He sang as lead vocalist for three years with Garry Mac Productions and The Atlantic Express, a 12-piece, 60's-style R&B group in Kansas City.

Encouraged by these experiences, he decided to pursue his career as an artist. A chance to audition with The U.S. Army Chorale led to a full-time professional vocalist position with this elite vocal ensemble, part of The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”, based in Washington, D.C. With The Chorale and as a frequently requested soloist, he performed for all levels of the Administration, Congress and countless foreign and U.S. dignitaries.

His rich, soulful jazz vocals and vast repertoire have led to performances alongside such artists as Michael McDonald, Wynonna Judd, Rita Moreno and B.B. King, as soloist with The National Symphony Orchestra and during national television appearances on such shows as “Showtime at the Apollo” and several live PBS concerts.

Since leaving the Army, Ron has been based in Kansas City, a city known for it’s rich jazz tradition. His smooth voice and dynamic stage presence have established him as one of the region’s top entertainers and a favorite among the city’s top-tier jazz musicians. This reputation has led to repeat performances with the world-renowned Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and several of the other top big bands in the country, including the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.

Ron increased his international fan base in March of 2006 as a concert Soloist at The Cathedral of St. Ignatius in Rome. In November of 2006 he gained a new legion of fans when he headlined the 1st Annual Jazz in Riads in Fes, Morocco. On the festival’s last night, Ron was asked for an impromptu encore by the contingent of French artists in order to share the stage one last time. Later that month, he performed for a second straight year at the KC Plaza Lighting Ceremony for an audience of over 100,000 and broadcast on the NFL Network. Organizers of the Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival dubbed him a “highlight” of their event. His continued success at The Kansas State Fair has led to repeat invitations. The Manhattan Arts Center said they were “enthralled...our best one this season.”

From the stages of The Apollo Theater, The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Grand Ol’ Opry and Carnegie Hall, to television and recordings, Ron has captivated audiences around the world, young and old and from every walk of life. And the best is yet to come.


- Featured Vocalist with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, The Kerry Strayer Orchestra, Dave Brandom, Warner Brothers Jazz Publishing and The New KC7.

· Choir member and Soloist for services and concerts at St. Peter’s Basilica and all major Basilicas in Rome.

· Headliner for The 1st Annual Jazz in Riads in Fes, Morocco and Manhattan's Little Apple Jazz Festival "Jazz at the Core". Featured Artist for The Kennedy Center’s “A Tribute to Marvin Gaye”, Nashville's Music City J.A.M. (hosted by Kirk Whalum), Kansas City’s “Plaza Lighting Ceremony” (televised live regionally), The Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival, KC’s Rhythm & Ribs Jazz Festival, KC’s Jazz Carol Fest, The Kansas State University Jazz Series and The Kansas State Fair.

· Performances at The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum, BET on Jazz, The Stiefel Theatre, The Lied Center, White Concert Hall, The Corbin Mill Theatre, The Unity Temple on the Plaza, The Bohemian Caverns, The Arrowhead Club, Plaza III and Michael Jordan’s.

· Member of The U.S. Army Chorale and Featured Vocalist with The U.S. Army Blues (The premier Jazz Big Band of The U.S. Army).

Experiences with The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”, include:

Soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Erich Kunzel.

Performances with B.B. King, Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt, Aaron Neville, Rita Moreno, the Fifth Dimension, the late Ossie Davis, John Schneider, Kristin Chenoweth, Art Garfunkel and others on PBS’s National Memorial Day and National 4th of July Concerts. Televised live nationally on the West Lawn of The U.S. Capitol.

Performances at The Kennedy Center, The Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Command Performances for both the Secretary of Defense and the Ser