Born: February 12, 1960 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Since 1982, trumpeter Ron Horton has been an integral part of New York's flourishing jazz scene and he stands out both as an exemplary instrumentalist and as a highly progressive composer and arranger. Whether called upon as a sideman or as a leader of one of his own ensembles, he shows that he is committed to further expanding the existing perimeters of jazz. Horton has had many long musical associations with leaders such as saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom (1983-2000) and pianist Andrew Hill. He was a member of Hill's sextet from 1998 until 2003, and appears on the group's critically acclaimed CD, Dusk (Palmetto 2000). He was also musical director and co-arranger for Hill's big band, and is featured on the CD, A Beautiful Day (Palmetto 2002).
Horton has also had an integral collaboration with New York's Jazz Composers Collective, going back to its inception in 1992, and appears on several cds by the other members of the group, such as Ben Allison and Michael Blake, as well as the collective's Herbie Nichols Project. He is an original member of the HNP, a group co-led by Frank Kimbrough and Allison, that is dedicated to performing known and unknown compositions of the late, great pianist. In 1995, Horton went to the Library of Congress and uncovered over three dozen of Nichols' songs that had never been recorded. Several of these works appear on the three cds released by the HNP on Soul Note and Palmetto. Through his work with the JCC, Horton has received composing grants from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and Meet the Composer.
Ron Horton was born in 1960 in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been frequently called on as a sideman to perform and/or record with such artists as Lee Konitz, Rez Abbasi, Phillip Johnston, Andy Laster, Mick Rossi, Matt Wilson, Bill Gerhardt, Bill Mays, Peggy Stern, Allan Chase, Andy Biskin, Ted Nash, Jon Gordon, John McKenna, Walter Thompson, Diana Perez, Billy Newman, Mario Pavone, Tina Marsh, and is currently a member of the Will Holshouser Trio, Sam Bardfeld Quintet and Ben Allison's New Quartet.
In 1999, Horton released his debut CD, Genius Envy (OmniTone), featuring Jane Ira Bloom. All About Jazz said of the CD, [Horton] shines as a formidable composer, arranger and leader. [It's] not difficult to discern why Horton is highly respected within jazz circles.
Subtextures, Horton's first release on Fresh Sound New Talent (FSNT-175) features pianist Kimbrough, bassist Allison and drummer Matt Wilson. It includes four new original compositions, as well as those by Kimbrough, Hill, Olivier Messiaen, and Frederic Chopin. The CD was selected by Jazzman magazine (France) for its CHOC award as one of the top CDs of 2004. Jazzwise (UK) also chose it as one of the top CDs of 2004.
Horton's latest CD, Everything in a Dream (Fresh Sound - FSNT 243), features his two-bass septet, which includes bassists John Hebert and Masa Kamaguchi as well as saxophonists Tony Malaby and John O'Gallagher, pianist Kimbrough and drummer Mike Sarin.
His other working ensemble is his Vibes quartet, which features vibist Tom Beckham, saxophonist Michael Blake and bassist Ben Allison.
Horton has taught master classes and workshops at The New School (New York), New England Conservatory (Boston), Univ. North Carolina, Oxford University (UK).