Ronnie Buttacavoli

Ronnie Buttacavoli


“Among the new generation of trumpeters”, writes one Rolling Stone critic, “Ronnie Buttacavoli may be the most lyrical as well as the most versatile. Beyond his technical prowess and impeccable taste, he plays with tremendous warmth and heartfelt emotion. Buttacavoli is a young master.”

The word is spreading. Featured on recordings, including Etta James’ Grammy-Winning Mystery Lady, All The Way, The Fountains of Wayne, and The Group America, Buttacavoli was tapped by Dave Brubeck to play along with James Moody, Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, and a host of other jazz greats. On Brubek’s “Young Lions and Old Tigers“, Brubeck titled his piano/flugelhorn duet “Ronnie Buttacavoli”.

Raised in New York and rooted in classical music and jazz, Buttacavoli studied with Carmine Caruso and Murray Karpilovsky, the latter, principal trumpet with the NY Met, before venturing to France where, from 1970–1980, he anchored the exceptional funk/fusion band, Bobby Boyd and the Soul Congress, later called Ice on Fantasy-Prestige and the extremely sampled, cult funk band, Lafayette Afro Rock Band.

Back in NY, Buttacavoli spends his time playing Broadway musicals, commercials, in addition to stints with Steely Dan, Bozz Scaggs, Aretha Franklin, and as a featured soloist with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Toshiko Akioshi/Lew Tabakin Big Band.

For 20 years, he led the horn section of Etta James’ critically-acclaimed Roots Band. “In Mystery Lady and Time After Time,” writes David Ritz, Etta James’ biographer, “Ronnie Buttacavoli provides the perfect counterpoint to Etta. He augments her voice with his own sensitivity and delicate approach to melody.”

“Ronnie,” says Etta James herself, “Always amazes me. One minute he’s hitting those horn punches like Mike Tyson, and the next minute he’s playing soft and romantic like early Miles. Fact is, Ronnie plays as beautifully as anyone since the passing of Miles.”

“Miles,” says Buttacavoli, “Along with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Mitchell, and all the great trumpeters, were each compelling story tellers with distinct voices. Whether it’s blues or rhythm and blues or straight-ahead jazz, the voice is what counts. The voice is everything.”

Bach ML Mt. Vernon Stradavarius (1963)
Bach Stradavarius  “C” Trumpet
Model 238 25 H lead pipe
Yamaha YFM 635T Flugelhorn
YTR9830 Custom 4 valve piccolo Trumpet
Cannonball Stone Series 601132 ML Anodized Black Nickel

Performances with Artists
Etta James and the Roots Band (20yrs), Fountains of Wayne, Steely Dan, NY Rock and Soul Revue w/Michael McDonald, Bozz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow and Chuck Jackson, Liza Minnelli, BozzScaggs (world tour), Aretha Franklin, TheFourTops, The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, Gloria Gaynor, Jay Black and the Americans, Glenn Miller Orchestra (featured soloist) Toshiko Akioshi/Lew Tabakin Big Band.

Bacardi – “Tattoo”
Coke – “Nascar-Sexy”
Chase Bank – “Aragon”
General Motors – “Drive By”
AT&T – “True Heroes”

Broadway Shows
Aladdin, HAIR, In The Heights, Young Frankenstein, ChorusLine, Curtains, Tarzan, Hair Spray, Little Shop of Horrors, Boy from Oz,  Movin’ Out (Billy Joel), La Cage aux Folles, Spamalot, Gypsy, City of Angeles, Sweet Charity, Damn Yankees (with Jerry Lewis), Starlite Express, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, How to Succeed in Business.

Off Broadway
Little Me (with Martin Short and Faith Prince), Romance in Hard Times by Bill Finn w/Lillias White, Legends in Concert (Las Vegas Production by John Stuart).

Selected Discography
Etta James – “Mystery Lady” (Grammy Award) and “All The Way” RCAVictor
Fountains of Wayne – “Welcome Interstate Managers” and “Traffic and Weather”
America – “Here and Now”
Masayoshi Yamazaki – “Transition” Polydor
Liza Minnelli – “Liza’s Back” J-Records
Ed Palermo Big Band – “Take Your Clothes off When You Dance” (music of Frank Zappa )
Dave Brubek – “Young Lions and Old Tigers”
Jeannie Bryson – “Some Cats Know”

Sound Tracks
“Be Kind, Re-Wind” – New Line Cinema starring Jack Black and Danny Glover
“The Deep End ” – Fox Searchlight Pictures, music by Peter Naschel
“Bee Season” – (with Richard Gere)  FoxFilms, music by Peter Naschel
“Killing Zoe” – Directed by Roger Avery, music by tomandandy, Milan Entertainment