Newsletters

Happy Holidays from Ron Kaplan and Kapland Records

Well friends, looks like we are all ready to turn another page on that calendar of life.

Best Wishes to each and every one of you for a wonderful 2011 holiday season and a magnificent New Year in 2012.

I continue to perform two or three times a week in the Santa Cruz and Bay Area with Don McCaslin and the Amazing Jazz Geezers in Aptos and the Jazz Society of Santa Cruz County, as well as special events and performances from time to time.

I had the opportunity as an actor to perform in a music video by the super group Chickenfoot. Here is a link to that @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjyAPdiickk.  I appear in the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Your tax deductible donations are always welcome to American Songbook Preservation Society, a not-for-profit 501 C 3 dedicated to performing the music of the Great American Songbook. http://www.greatamericansongbook.org/make_a_donation.htm

You can find me at the following locations:

http://www.myspace.com/kaplandrecords
http://www.youtube.com/user/ronaldkaplan
http://www.cdbaby.com/all/kaplan
http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Kaplan/1131114876

Thank you as always for your friendship!

…in jazz we trust
Ron Kaplan

LoveAllBeAll

 

LoveAllBeAll

NYC: Ron Kaplan sings New York!  July 10th & 11th 2009

FEINSTEIN’S at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue, NYC – 212-339-4095 )
Great American Songbook Preservationist and classic-jazz-standards singer Ron Kaplan is making a rare concert appearance in New York City to present his “New York Song Collection” (a select group of songs taken from his album entitled New York).
Singer Ron Kaplan keeps the flame burning brightly to illuminate jazz standards, the Great American Songbook and the classic sound of singers of the Fifties. The epitome of a “saloon singer,” Kaplan has a rich, warm voice that literally cocoons the listener within the cozy atmosphere of images it creates. www.ronkaplan.com
Ron Kaplan is an original personality in the world of jazz vocalists and he has managed to put his name into that previously closed inner circle. He has breathed new life into it by the sheer force of his style, for as you know, “the style is the man himself”. The Velvet Crooner and the elegant power of his seemingly casual phrasing is in fact, ultra-tight and perfectly seductive… Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot
In addition to his career as a concert performer and recording artist, Kaplan also is the founder and executive director of American Songbook Preservation Society, a non-profit organization whose mission statement is: “To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by performing this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.”  www.greatamericansongbook.org
This very special musical fanfare will be a NY evening to remember. Ron is delighted to bring this recording to Feinstein’s Loews Regency under the musical direction of Steinway Artist and New Yorker Pete Malinverni. www.petemalinverni.com
Jul 10, 2009 at 8:30 PM EDT, Jul 11, 2009 at 8:30 PM EDT, tickets $25-$40 or ticket web
Ron Kaplan Sings New York   Buy  – New York, NY $33.09 – $49.85

Making his New York visit even more special, Kaplan will perform some these New York Songs and talk about this classic material on one of the city’s top talk shows, “The Joey Reynolds Show” (on WOR 710 and nationally-syndicated) http://www.wor710.com/
on Thursday, July 9th, starting after midnight.

Hollywood Squares

Click on the squares to view Ronald’s latest work as an Actor out on loan…

http://www.ronkaplan.com/actor-too/

Ron Kaplan Best

The 2 disc CD was released in China December 11, 2008 and is available online from YesAsia.com
http://www.yesasia.com/us/ron-kaplan-best-korea-version/1013766648-0-0-cssid.10-en/recommendation.html

American Songbook Preservation Society

Work is progressing on our documentary film to make our case for why the music of the 20th century known as the Great American Songbook is important and what we can do to keep the music going for future generations. This is a companion project to our Los Angeles benefit concert, including interviews with 8 of the 15 singers who participated. The concert DVD is available for a donation of $20.
http://greatamericansongbook.org/ASPS_LA_BenefitConcert2008.htm

On another note…

Our application to the National Endowment for the Humanities to build an elaborate website detailing the history of the music, it’s Composers and Lyricists was found to have merit although we did not receive funding for the 2009 granting period. If you would like to support our mission and organization, your charitable donations and support are greatly appreciated. http://greatamericansongbook.org/make_a_donation.htm

We now have an opportunity to collaborate with the Michael Feinstein Foundation for the preservation of the Great American Songbook in pursuit of our mutual goals in keeping the music going through education and performance. We look forward to endowing our organization to develop our programs to a greater extent, and rise to the occasion to fulfill our mission on a national and international scale. You can play a part in making this happen!

In appreciation,
RonKaplan

LoveAllBeAll

 

Kapland Records Announces the Long Awaited Release

Ron Kaplan BEST

2 Disc Set

The World’s finest Jazz Ambassador

Available in China from SSG and Mnet

  Distributed by Mnet Media, Inc  

 

 

 

Ron Kaplan – BEST (Korean Version)
Dedicated CD

Ron Kaplan

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Greetings One and All…

Happy Thanksgiving…

Wishing everyone blessings, good health, and good fortune this holiday season.

A few announcements on behalf of Kapland Records and American Songbook Preservation Society.

Kapland Records has released: Singing the Great American Songbook, a live performance CD from a benefit concert recorded at Kuumbwa Jazz Center featuring singer Ron Kaplan, pianist Marshall Otwell, and bassist Stan Poplin.
All proceeds from the sale go to GreatAmericanSongbook.org on behalf of our mission: To preserve our cultural legacy known as the Great American Songbook, by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.
It is available @ http://cdbaby.com/kaplan8

In addition, a live DVD of our first Los Angeles benefit concert recorded on Mother’s Day 2008 is available featuring 15 singers with a wonderful rhythm section in support of our organization. Write us at 9051-A Soquel Drive Aptos, Ca. 95003 or email @ info@greatamericansongbook.org for a copy with your donation of $20 or more. The film is 1:17 in length and is a testament to the great works of this repertoire and the fine interpretations from these Artists!

A subsequent documentary film is in the works with interviews from several of these Singers as to why this music is important and how we can keep this music in front of the public for future generations to come to know and to love. Keep an eye on 2009 for new developments and news http://www.greatamericansongbook.org/news.htm
We look forward to building out our website in 2009 as a resource and destination to learn more about the Composers, Lyricists, Singers and Songs from this truly American music.

You can make a difference toward recognition of our cause just by voting for Ron Kaplan @ http://www.tribeofnoise.com/ronkaplan Click on all of the stars in conjunction with the onebillionfans.com promotion. THANK YOU!

Finally…just for fun, visit http://www.ronkaplan.com/acting.htm to view some clips from recent acting adventures from Ron Kaplan…Actor out on loan.
I am currently involved in some new projects that will be out in 2009 as well.

Thank you for your support.

Ron Kaplan
Kapland Records
…in jazz we trust

Love All Be All

 

~MOTHER’S DAY~ MAY 11th, 2008
SPECIAL CONCERT! 3pm-6pm Bring your mom!

The American Songbook Preservation Society…singing the great American Songbook is coming to Los Angeles! www.greatamericansongbook.org

Join 17 great Singers as they perform songs from one of the most prolific groups of composers that ever lived!

Special Guest performers for the afternoon:
Cathy Segal-Garcia, Ron Kaplan, Dini Clarke, Denise Donatelli, Dewey Erney, Cheryl Barnes, Jimmer Bolden, Ann Mack, Cat Conner, Bili Redd, Calabria Foti, Mark Winkler, Gina Eckstein, Kevyn Lettau, Jack Wood, Michele Weir, Pinky Winters!

Supported by Karen Hammack on Piano, Chris Conner on Bass, & Kurt Walther on drums. This show promises to be one of the most special events of the year! Join us for a beautiful time.

Tickets are $35, which includes wine, non-alcoholic beverages & hors d ‘oeuvres.

The venue where this special event is being held is a private location in Mt. Washington, in a beautiful and intimate listening room. Be part of a filmed Documentary dedicated to the continuance of our valuable American heritage!

You must make a reservation with a deposit! Space is very limited! Act soon! To reserve tickets Call Cathy (818) 368-8839 or email: cathy@cathysegalgarcia.com.

The organization’s Mission is: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook, by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

Its goal is to build an organization to present singers singing this music for the next 100 years and beyond by creating a national institution dedicated to this body of work from a singer’s perspective, (This being the zenith of American songwriting) so as to keep this music in front of the public in education and in concert by supporting the artist and the craft.

Raising $25 million dollars will allow us to build an educational web site for the composers, lyricists, and their bodies of work to download as educational materials for grade school to the university level. This will generate an annual budget of at least $1 million dollars a year in perpetuity for this purpose. It is a 501 C 3 charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.

Tax Id #56-2410339

 

News from Ron Kaplan and Kapland Records…

Greetings one and all!
Let me bring you up to date.
I am currently enjoying the reports of chart bound radio play around the country for my 10th anniversary release from Kapland Records entitled New York.
The recording is available on Kapland Records and CDBaby as well as iTunes.

I am also giving away mp3’s of all of my recordings in exchange for your donation to American Songbook Preservation Society, a 501 C 3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to keeping this truly American cultural treasure out in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond. You can help me with your support.

Here are some special dates…I will be interviewed on two radio programs the week of February 18th – 24th, 2008. Below are the radio programs with a link to listen in live on the Internet in real time.

Monday February 18th, 2008
KCSM 91.1 FM
San Mateo, California 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
Host: Chuy Varela
http://www.kcsm.org/jazz91/listen.php

Sunday March 2, 2008
WHUS 91.7 FM
Storrs, Connecticut 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Host: Thomas Henry
http://www.whus.org/listen.php

And…I will be performing on behalf of American Songbook Preservation Society in Los Angeles with several great singers in association with Cathy Segal-Garcia on Mother’s Day, May 11th, 2008 and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center event: Jazz at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on June 7th, 2008 with pianist, arranger & co-producer of New York, Larry Dunlap. More details to follow. Stay tuned!

Ciao4now…RonKaplan

 

Donate to American Songbook Preservation Society for as many free mp3’s as you like!
www.myspace.com/kaplandrecords

Make a donation and receive as many free mp3’s
as you like from Ron Kaplan and Kapland Records.

Singer Ron Kaplan has made all of his recordings available for free if you would kindly make a tax-deductible donation in exchange to American Songbook Preservation Society, a 501 C 3 non- profit @ http://www.greatamericansongbook.org

Our mission:
To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

All you have to do is go to http://www.ronkaplan.com

and click on the recordings button where you will find 7 recordings by singer Ron Kaplan. All of the selections are from the Great American Songbook and the repertoire of the Jazz Standards.

Continue the Legacy, and help me build an organization to keep this music out in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond. Thank you for your support!

“Ron Kaplan is an original personality in the world of jazz vocalists and he has managed to put his name into that previously closed inner circle. He has breathed new life into it by the sheer force of his style, for as you know, “the style is the man himself”. The Velvet Crooner and the elegant power of his seemingly casual phrasing is in fact, ultra-tight and perfectly seductive.”
 –Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot

 

Jazz Improv Magazine

JI: Can you talk about the evolution of the American Songbook Preservation Society. What is your vision for its future and how do you aim to achieve your very lofty goals?

RK: The American Songbook Preservation Society started as a result of my taking seminar courses from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, where I live, in explorations of how I could help Ron Kaplan get ahead in the business of music. My initial thinking was a result of an IAJE workshop by Bret Primack on how becoming a non-profit can help a musician receive funding to underwrite performances. Well, the deeper I got into the study of it with courses about the not-for-profit sector and the power potential of the favorable tax treatment for both the organization and the donor, (along with the limitless applications of this principal), I had an epiphany! I realized that it wasn’t about Ron Kaplan anymore. It was about the music! It is one thing to leave a body of work, but it’s another to leave a genuine legacy. Just think about the number of organizations and foundations that underwrite and support the arts in our country? Without them, much high culture and high art in our country would wither on the vine and fade away. I realized that all of our art is supported by patrons, philanthropists, foundations and individual donors for the most part. I also discovered that well over 80% of the funding for non-profits comes from individual donors. I completed the program of nearly 100 hours in various aspects NP management. I applied to the State to become a California Corporation and filed with the IRS for the 501 (c) (3) status and received approval just before completing the program. Since then, it’s essentially been a labor of love and personal investment of time and monies to build an organization from scratch. The mission is to preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook. This can be done by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song. Our purpose is to build an Organization to stand the test of time and continue this body of work for the next 100 years and beyond for public benefit. Future Projects will include archiving and organizing historical documentation about the composers and lyricists, the personalities, and their works, as an educational resource for future generations for use in the classroom and the university. In addition, we will record and develop new material for presentation to the public as representative of this body of work. Finally, we will work on a permanent display using modern technology to bring the Great American Songbook and its inhabitants to life. I have received some relatively small grants to produce two concerts and the website and branding, and chased the money from individuals and corporations. I received a pledge of support early on from Wynton Marsalis, who stated that we were working toward the same end. Nat Hentoff,  Phoebe Jacobs and Kurt Elling were also behind my mission. And so, as time has gone on, I have had to expand my thinking on funding. I recently sold my business and retired from my day job, so I can now focus the majority of my time and energy on this ambitious undertaking to build a National organization to stand the test of time. I am anxious to get the money thing out of the way so we can strictly focus on our mission. I am in a race against the clock by year-end 2007 to meet the IRS definition of a foundation, which gives money away, as opposed to a charitable organization which asks for money to support its mission. Both are treated favorably regarding tax deductibility, but a foundation is self-sustainable which my objective is. Meeting my goal of $1 million by year-end will meet this distinction. That is why it is so important to keep communicating to find those individuals who want to support this cause. It will also allow us to focus on building the educational resource component by development of an expanded website with downloadable materials for grade school through university education. My latest effort toward fund raising includes a recording made at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in January of a concert on behalf of American Songbook Preservation Society with a pitch for funding included in text about our mission and goals.

JI:  How did you choose the songs for your new CD New York?
RK: Once I decided on a theme for the recording, I started to think of all the songs about New York that I knew. I looked through all of my songbooks and did extensive research at the public library. Some of the songs I wanted to record did not have sheet music I could find. I asked many of my friends if they had any of these charts in search of the missing scores, whom all came up empty. It was due to a search of the entire state of California library systems that the Los Angeles public library found some of the sheet music for me. New York is one of the few cities or places that had abundant titles written about it to make an entire recording. There were a number of songs I ferreted through to come up with the 12 I chose. This is really a quintessential New York recording. The only major song I felt I had to choose to leave out is one I previously recorded on my album entitled Dedicated which is perhaps the penultimate New York composition entitled Autumn In New York by Vladimir Dukelsky (Vernon Duke). Unlike Sinatra, I am opposed to the idea of re-recording material unless it is in a live performance. Walking the streets of New York inspired me to make this recording and in particular, to quote a Harry Warren and Al Dubin lyric from 42nd Street, “In the heart of little old New York there is a thoroughfare. It’s the part of little old New York that turns into Time Square. That crazy quilt that Wall Street Jack built. If you have a little time to spare, I’d like to take you there.” I believe we were able to accomplish with this recording.

JI: If you could magically get your wish in the next three years, what goal—action or event—would you both hope to accomplish, and what is the emotional core of that goal?

 RK: That’s an easy one. It would be fully endowing the not-for-profit foundation, GreatAmericanSongbook.org, to the tune of $25 million dollars. This would allow me to fully flush out the organization and accomplish all of its goals, and allow me to spend the balance of my lifetime fulfilling it’s mission, ensuring it’s success, expanding its purpose as times and technology change. This would allow me to build a foundation to stand the test of time and exist for 100 years or more beyond my time, while building in the capacity to pass it along to other capable hands. This would be my greatest individual accomplishment as a steward of the music, and perhaps my true legacy. It would certainly be the most emotionally fulfilling artistic and altruistic endeavor I could undertake. And may I add here that all it takes is for one individual to dedicate themselves to making a difference. It can and will change the world for better or worse. I believe this is my highest calling against all odds. It’s the one reason I was put on this earth.

Kapland Records’ New CD, New York

Greetings one and all…
I wanted to let you know about my new CD release entitled New York.
It is composed of 12 songs all about New York with some great arrangements and players featuring Larry Dunlap, Seward McCain, Akira Tana, Erik Jekabson & Noel Jewkes.
You can listen to samples and even write a review at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kaplan7

On another note…
I will be performing with master Trumpeter Ted Curson at the New Yorker Hotel on Friday October 26th at 8:00 pm at the Gramercy Park Suite during the Jazz Improv Live Conference Oct. 25th-28th.

Come and visit booth 318 if attending on behalf of Kapland Records, celebrating our 10th Anniversary 1997-2007 http://www.ronkaplan.com and American Songbook Preservation Society…Singing the Great American Songbook http://www.greatamericansongbook.org

We are a 501 C 3 not-for-profit foundation.
Our mission: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

You can help me build an organization to stand the test of time and keep this music in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond with your generous support!

Stop by and meet me and my daughter Amber who will be assisting me in person, on Friday or Saturday 9am-6pm at our booth in the mezzanine at the New Yorker hotel in NYC .

Thanks for your support!
RonKaplan
Kapland Records…in jazz we trust

American Songbook Preservation Society
…Singing the Great American Songbook

LoveAllBeAll

Click here for Ron Kaplan’s bio.

Ron Kaplan sings for your supper at Café Rio in Aptos…

May 8, 2007

Ron will be appearing on Friday’s from 6:30-8:30 pm for a five week engagement beginning May 18th through June 15th with some of his favorite accompanists. The artists include guitarist Larry Scala and pianists Larry Dunlap and Marshall Otwell, all of which Ron has recorded with.

“This is a great opportunity for me to perform in the neighborhood at a great restaurant for some of my friends and supporters, clients and local residents. This will be as close to a supper club as you will find in Santa Cruz. Many thanks to new owners and proprietors Jeff and Jackie Briggs. It’s gonna be a lot of fun for me”, said Kaplan.
          

Café Rio
131 Esplanade
Rio Del Mar (Aptos)
688-8917
Jackie Briggs owner

Ron Kaplan has released 5 recordings on his label Kapland Records with a new release in the works entitled New York. www.ronkaplan.com
He will also be releasing a recording on behalf of American Songbook Preservation of which he is Executive Director. www.greatamericansongbook.org

 

Benefit Concert at Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Singer Ron Kaplan will be performing a benefit concert on behalf of American Songbook Preservation Society…Singing the Great American Songbook at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar Street in Santa Cruz on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7 PM. Doors open at 6pm, with dinner served as part of the Cookin’ @ The Kuumbwa series www.kuumbwajazz.org (831) 427-2227. Tickets $10 advance $13 door are also available at Logo’s Books & Records.

The show begins at 7pm and will feature Ron with Master Musicians, Pianist Marshall Otwell and Bassist Stan Poplin, performing songs from such legendary composers as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George & Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, Harold Arlen, Hoggy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren and others.

This concert is in support of www.GreatAmericanSongbook.org , a 501 C 3 non-profit, of which Ronald Kaplan serves as Executive Director. His charge is to build a national organization to keep this music in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond.

The mission of the Foundation is: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the Public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

Ron Kaplan’s style is reminiscent of the great singers of the 1950’s. Critics note his sophisticated phrasing, tone, diction and ability to get to the heart of a song with his own mark of musicianship.

“Easygoing swing and a sensibility without artifice are the hallmarks of what Kaplan holds dear with a special fervor.  Ron Kaplan is an original personality in the world of jazz vocalists and he has managed to put his name into that previously closed inner circle.  He has breathed new life into it by the sheer force of his style, for as you know, ‘the style is the man himself’ “
… Jean Szlamowicz
Editor Jazz Hot
Paris October, 2006

Accompanying Ron are Pianist Marshall Otwell and Bassist Stan Poplin, both of which have appeared on numerous recordings, and have played with some of the biggest names in show business. They have each honed their talents over decades of dedication to the craft of playing and accompanying artists in the genre of Jazz and the Great American Songbook.

Contact:
Ron Kaplan
Kapland Records
kaplandisc@aol.com
(831) 687-0278
info@greatamericansongbook.org

www.ronkaplan.com
www.greatamericansongbook.org

http://www.greatamericansongbook.org/make_a_donation.htm

ORACLE FLY BY REPLY…NICE TRY, NO DIE

Dateline: November 27,2006 … Aptos, CA
Contact: Ronald Kaplan, American Songbook Preservation Society
Contact Phone: (831) 687-0278 or (831)295-3672 cell
Contact Fax: (831) 685-2609
E-mail: info@GreatAmericanSongbook.org
Web Address: http://www.GreatAmericanSongbook.org

APTOS, CA ­ November 27,2006 ­ The American Songbook
Preservation Society, a not-for-profit Foundation, flew a plane
with banner in tow around the corporate headquarters of Oracle in
a plea for a charitable donation from CEO Larry Ellison on
November 2, 2006, in Redwood Shores, CA. The monies would endow
the Foundation, in perpetuity, to fulfill it’s mission: to
preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American
Songbook, by presenting this music to the public at home and
abroad as Ambassadors of Song. The request comes as a result of a
2005 settlement requiring Ellison to dispense $100 million within
5 years to the charities of his choice.

According to Ronald Kaplan, founder and Executive Director, $25
Million Dollars will endow the Foundation in perpetuity and keep
this music in front of the American Public and the world for the
next 100 years and beyond. But on November 17, 2006, the
Foundation had received their reply from Oracle Corporation that
there would be no funds available as the $100 million has already
been designated.

“Had our ‘out of the box’ guerilla marketing attempt
succeeded, it would have endowed our non-profit foundation in
perpetuity. My intention is to find a suitor to underwrite our
Foundation and allow me to build an organization to keep this
music in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond. I
had received a pledge of support from Wynton Marsalis early on
and at the advice of Nat Hentoff, who thought the organization
was a wonderful idea,” said Kaplan.

Hentoff referred Kaplan to the Chairman of the National Endowment
of the Arts where, he discovered that the NEA no longer gives
endowments. Phoebe Jacobs of the Louis Armstrong Foundation, a
protégé and confidant of Duke Ellington and his family said the
concept of the GreatAmericanSongbook.org is very patriotic.

“We are looking for donors who believe in the this American
Cultural Legacy and want their name or business associated with
the Foundation in perpetuity as we fulfill our mission. The end
of the 2006 tax year is rapidly coming to a close. We are asking
that concerned individuals help us make this happen with their
support, and as the Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Oscar Hammerstein II
song goes, ‘Give Me A Kiss To Build A Dream On'”.

For more information, contact:
American Songbook Preservation Society
Ronald Kaplan, Executive Director
9051-A Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95001
Phone: (831) 687-0278
E-mail: info@greatamericansongbook.org

Photos for this article are available at
http://www.greatamericansongbook.org/oracleFlyover.htm

September 19, 2006
Mid County Post

Allstate Insurance Agent Ronald Kaplan Makes It a Policy to Serve Others

by Linda Fridy

Ronald Kaplan likes things that last, whether they are the relationships he’s built with customers over his 21 years as an Allstate insurance agent or the jazz standards he loves to sing. In both arenas he works to shape an end product with individual style.

While insurance and music may seem at first to be an odd combination, Kaplan has found harmony moving between one’s precision and the other’s innovation. And both have brought him long-term friendships.
ron in office
This desire for ongoing connections with customers rather than one-time purchases led Kaplan into insurance from sales. “I liked the idea of being of service. Everyone needs insurance. I thought, ‘If I provide good service and save people money, why wouldn’t they want to do business with me?’” he explained. “I wanted to retain customers I met in my previous sales experience.”

Kaplan Had to Start at the Very Beginning
Yet even with these connections, building a new business was not easy, as a family friend had warned him in a letter Kaplan keeps to this day. “I had to draw on all my inner strengths and skills to become a success,” said Kaplan, who noted that insurance’s attention to detail suits his personality. “I worked very hard in the beginning to build up the business. Here I am 21 years later.”

As an Allstate agent, he provides products from home and property coverage to auto and life insurance, giving him an opportunity to be a part of significant junctions in his clients’ lives. “It’s been wonderful to watch some of these people grow up to be wonderful young adults,” he said of the generation he started insuring as children.

Making a Living in a Place he Loves
Although he’s a native of Hollywood, Kaplan has lived more than half his life in Santa Cruz County. He came as a junior transfer student to UCSC and never left. “I’ve put one and a half of my kids through (UC) as well,” he said with a smile.

The insurance industry has changed some in the 21 years since Kaplan moved into his Soquel Drive office in Aptos. While computers have sped up processes, he admits to missing the eye-to-eye contact of going out and writing up an application.

The whole industry is writing fewer policies and looking for ways to remain profitable, he said. Heart-breaking stories from Katrina, where homeowners were insured against hurricane damage but didn’t have flood policies, underscore the need for people to check in with an agent.

“I try to review people’s needs, let them know things they may not have thought about,” he said.

He said that people interface is also important in other aspects of insurance purchasing.
“Computers make decisions that people used to make,” he said. “I see myself as an advocate as much as I can for customers with the insurance company.” Knowing he can help has kept him in a career he describes as “really rewarding. The love and caring you develop over time with people makes it all worthwhile.”

Returning to His Musical Roots
About 10 years into his career with Allstate, Kaplan had an established business with steady income from renewals. He hired an assistant, which allowed him to focus some of his energy on his life-long love of performing.

“That was like my middle-age crisis, as my daughter calls it,” he said with a smile.
While he had embraced the singer/songwriter trend of rock in the early 1970s, Kaplan found himself drawn back to the popular music of his youth: the jazz standards of the great American songbook. His father played trumpet in jazz bands and his mother listened to radio and records throughout the day.

“That music still holds up today. I really believe it was the zenith of American songwriting,” he said, sitting in his office surrounded by jazz festival posters and framed sheet music.

He wanted to experience the best of both worlds. And with this in mind, Kaplan returned to singing and performing as his insurance work allowed, and recorded his first album in 1996. Helping him out on piano was friend and local jazz great Smith Dobson.
Luckily for his family, Dobson was also a customer, and when Kaplan delivered Dobson’s life insurance benefit after his untimely death, it brought home how important that service could be.

Kaplan has recorded four more albums since that first one, and plans a sixth of New York City-inspired tunes, which he hopes to record in New York. The recordings have also provided a way for him to connect to an international audience. “People all over the world download my music on iTunes or Rhapsody.com,” he said.

He hasn’t abandoned the live, local audience and still performs regularly in the area. He can be found most Thursday nights sitting in with Don McCaslin at Severinos at Best Western’s Seacliff Inn, or the Wharfhouse in Capitola on Sunday afternoons.

The American Songbook Preservation Society
Kaplan’s passion for jazz standards also led him to found the American Songbook Preservation Society, www.greatamericansongbook.org  which supports performances of this American art form. His long-term goal is to raise a $25 million endowment.

While singing standards realizes a dream of Kaplan’s, he is equally grateful to have found a career with Allstate. As he explained, “It’s afforded me the opportunity to live in Santa Cruz, raise a family, be a professional and make a difference in other people’s lives by being their insurance agent.”

Ronald Kaplan is an exclusive agent for the Allstate Insurance Company with an office at 9051-A Soquel Drive in Aptos. He can be reached at 831-688-7312.

August 7, 2006

‘LOUNGING AROUND REDUX 2006

One of today’s finest singers of jazz standards, Ron Kaplan has carved out an exemplary career over the course of five albums by following in the footsteps left by legends such as Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett. One of Kaplan’s best albums, LOUNGING AROUND, captures the mood and ambience of a small, hot jazz combo as if they were mesmerizing a martini-sipping crowd at an intimate lounge in any city, U.S.A.

Although recorded before his last album, SALOON, the LOUNGING AROUND CD had limited distribution (mostly sold at concerts) when originally released and it eventually went out of print. Now remixed, remastered and substantially restructured, LOUNGING AROUND is receiving its first national distribution and full marketing campaign.

Ron Kaplan’s LOUNGING AROUND and his other CDs are available at online sites (such as cdbaby.com, towerrecords.com), digital download locations (including iTunes.com, rhapsody.com) and Kaplan’s own ronkaplan.com.

LOUNGING AROUND features a full band of talented jazz musicians who went into the studio and served up the perfect backdrop for Kaplan’s rich, warm voice that is as tasteful as a fine wine, a bold and hearty vintage aged to smoothness like decades-old cabernet.

The band members featured throughout are Larry Scala on guitar, Perry Thoorsell on bass and Guiseppe Merolla on drums. Special guests are Donny McCaslin Jr. (who has played on two other Kaplan recordings) on tenor saxophone on five tunes, Steve Czarnecki on Hammond B3 organ on three tracks, and Dmitri Matheny (a protégé of Art Farmer) on flugelhorn on “How Insensitive.” The musicians work well together (Scala and Thoorsell have played together for years) and each gets the chance to solo at some point. Kaplan was performing at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival when Scala approached the singer about playing together and soon they did some gigs around Northern California.

According to Kaplan, “LOUNGING AROUND is full of tunes reflecting lost love and relationships that don’t work, but with an undercurrent of redemption and hope always present, which is especially reflected in the closing piece, ‘What a Wonderful World’. The whole album has a blue feel to it. Searching for love, finding love and often losing love affects us all so strongly. These are feelings that resonate with virtually everyone.”

Even though the songs would all be considered traditional jazz, the selections are quite diverse. There are several ballads, blues numbers (“Blues in the Night” and “No One Ever Tells You”), a Brazilian melody by Antonio Carlos Jobim (“How Insensitive”), Cole Porter’s uptempo “Just One of Those Things,” the Lambert Hendricks & Ross self-pity wallow “Moanin’,” and jazz perennials such as Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.” Kaplan is not afraid to perform songs which are strongly associated with other performers, especially “What a Wonderful World,” made famous by Louis Armstrong.

“Of course I have been influenced by the great male jazz singers, but many people are surprised when I tell them I have been equally inspired by female singers. Women seem especially adept at digging up great repertoire. Julie London was a big influence. On this album I do Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry Me a River’ that was made famous by Peggy Lee in the Fifties, but I especially loved Julie’s version of it which had simple backing and really let her voice come through. On this CD I also sing ‘I Surrender Dear’ which I first fell in love with when I heard it on a Julie London album.”

Ron has superb command of his flexible baritone that literally cocoons the listener within the cozy atmosphere of images he sings about and obviously believes in. His trademarks are his sophisticated phrasing and the mature tonal qualities of his vocals.
In addition to his career as a concert performer and recording artist, Kaplan also is the founder and executive director of The American Songbook Preservation Society, a non-profit organization whose mission statement is: “To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by performing this music at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.” For more information, go to greatamericansongbook.org. “The Great American Songbook is full of what is known as popular standards — great songs written generally between 1920 and 1960, most often for Broadway shows or Hollywood musical films, but sometimes simply in the Tin Pan Alley tradition of pianists and lyricists working together to create quality material for the big bands or the pop singers of the day.”

In the past few years Kaplan has performed in Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. He has made television appearances on “Musician’s Weekly” and “BETonJazz.” He has played with musicians such as pianists Shelly Berg, Smith Dobson, Geoff Eales, Tom Garvin, Mark Levine, Dick Whittington and Jessica Williams; bassists Art Davis, Stan Poplin and Tom Warrington; horn-players Paul Contos, Ted Curson, Kenny Stahl, Dmitri Matheny and Donny McCaslin Jr.; and drummers Dan Brubeck, Donald Dean, Tootie Heath, Peppe Merolla and Matt Wilson.

Kaplan’s other albums are HIGH STANDARDS (with piano, bass and drums as well as two sax players), DEDICATED (featuring piano and three saxophones as well as flugelhorn, flute and some strings), JAZZ AMBASSADORS (piano, bass and drums), and SALOON (Ron’s voice showcased with only Brazilian Weber Iago’s piano).

Kaplan was born in Hollywood and was immediately surrounded by music. His father played trumpet in jazz-bands in the Fifties and his mother had the radio or record player on constantly. From his toddler-days onward, Kaplan’s parents indoctrinated him with the great singers of 1950s. His earliest influences were Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Dean Martin, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., and Louis Armstrong among others. Ron played drums and percussion at school. In junior and senior high schools he sang in musical stage productions, did standup comedy at talent shows and his uncle’s bar, and competed in speech tournaments (“sometimes it was extemporaneous speaking which is sort of like jazz soloing”). Ron studied in an actor’s workshop in Hollywood, and then went to Los Angeles’ Valley College where he got his Associate in Arts degree. He taught himself to play guitar and piano, and started writing songs influenced by Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Cat Stevens. Ron also performed original material professionally accompanied by a viola player. In addition, Kaplan learned to play congas at Venice Beach and later played in drum circles every Sunday for a number of years in Griffith Park. Kaplan moved north to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz where he majored in psychology and received his Bachelor of Arts degree.

From 1985 to 1995, Kaplan decided to immerse himself in instrumental jazz and began listening to classic material from 1950 to 1964 – Miles Davis John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter and countless others. About a decade ago Kaplan turned to his first love, those songbook standards, and began his recording career with a style reminiscent of those great jazz vocalists he first heard as a child. Kaplan was mentored by pianist Smith Dobson and performed every Tuesday night for several years with him. Kaplan also has frequently sung for the past ten years with Don McCaslin, Sr. and his two groups, Warmth and The Jazz Geezers.

“When you are working within any musical genre, the most difficult thing is to find your own voice,” explains Kaplan. “I have had to purposely avoid Sinatra’s phrasing, for example, to force myself to develop my own style. The other key is that I choose material that moves me, that means something special to me, that I can relate to. That way I can get to the heart of the song and truly inhabit it. I am deeply committed to performing these great standards and doing what I can to keep this music alive and viable for new generations of listeners.”

PUBLICITY AGENCY: THE CREATIVE SERVICE COMPANY (CreatServ9@aol.com)
4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 * 719-548-9872 * fax 719-599-9607

 

July 23, 2006

Greetings one and all:

A quick note to let you know about about a free download available from AllAboutJazz.com featuring a song from the Jazz Ambassadors recording entitled: Stolen Moments/ The Blues And The Abstract Truth, with music by Oliver Nelson and Lyrics by Ron Kaplan. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/jazzdownloads_showcase.php
Scroll to the bottom of the page and there you will find it. The entire recording is available from CD Baby.com & Tower Records.com www.cdbaby.com/cd/kaplan4 The recording has been downloaded 185 times as of this writing in the past 2 weeks.

I also wanted to let you know about a radio interview recorded in NY during the IAJE Conference on WGBO with host Rhonda Hamilton. You can listen in by clicking on http://ronkaplan.com/main.htm and then the Listen button with the WGBO logo. You can also catch the interview on the news page http://greatamericansongbook.org/news.htm and click on Listen here. (There is also an interview on this page with Megan Marlena of KKJZ).

Our mission: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.   If you would like to support our mission with a tax-deductible donation… http://greatamericansongbook.org/make_a_donation.htm

Lastly…My latest recording entitled Saloon The Ron Kaplan * Weber Iago Album is available once again at CDBaby & TowerRecords.com www.cdbaby.com/cd/kaplan5 (This recording was reviewed in the December issue of JazzTimes and will appear in the March issue of DownBeat)

Best wishes for a happy new year and thank you for your support!
in jazz we trust… RonKaplan
Kapland Records
www.ronkaplan.com
www.greatamericansongbook.org

LoveAllBeAll

 

October 6, 2005

Help Local Man Save Our Music
Tom Ledye, Californianonline.com

I’ve been listening to Dennis Murphy’s new album, “Rediscovery,” a collection of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra.

The Salinas bass player does a wonderful job on such vocals as “Come Fly With Me,” “Lady is a Tramp,” “The Best is Yet to Come” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Unless you’re a Sinatra fan or you listen to a radio program that plays these standards, you don’t hear them very often.

They’re part of the American Songbook, a large group of songs that include Tin Pan Alley tunes and the great New York and Hollywood musicals, a period from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Like a lot of Americana, this cultural legacy seems to be fading from the nation’s collective consciousness. How can we keep it from fading into black?

Enter Ronald Kaplan, founder of the American Songbook Preservation Society. The Aptos insurance agent and jazz singer has launched a quest to raise $25 million to do just that.

“It started out about me and became more about the music,” said Kaplan, who has his own record label. “It’s something bigger than me. I’d love to spend the next 25 years of my life making this a really solid proposition.”

Kaplan has laid the groundwork for the American Songbook Preservation Society. He received a certificate of nonprofit management and has organized as a nonprofit in California. And he has received pledges of support from jazz writer Nat Hentoff and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis.

He now is courting a major donor, and the manager of the Algonquin Hotel in New York also has pledged his support. The plan is to make the hotel a home venue for the society and for young singers to perform there.

“I’m very excited about that,” Kaplan said.

Other plans are to present singers of the American Songbook in high-profile concerts and jazz festivals throughout the United States and overseas and to work for lower ticket prices.

“I feel like somebody in the world has to step up and make it happen,” Kaplan said. “That’s my great hope, to keep this (the songbook) alive in perpetuity.”

If it all unfolds as Kaplan believes it will, new generations will come to know and appreciate the music of such great American songwriters as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, Duke Ellington and many others.

“It’s our gift to the world,” Kaplan said.

The 411

Make a donation to the American Songbook Preservation Society and find out more about it at www.greatamericansongbook.org.

AUGUST 8, 2005

Allstate Agent Ronald Kaplan Receives Community Award
Donation will aid in preserving the Great American Songbook

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., August 8, 2005 – Local Allstate agent Ronald Kaplan has been awarded the Agency Hands in the Community Award for his commitment to volunteering in the community.  With this award comes a $500 grant from The Allstate Foundation for the American Songbook Preservation Society where Kaplan acts as Executive Director.

So passionate is Kaplan about preserving and nurturing the rich artistic legacy of the Great American Songbook, that he founded the American Songbook Preservation Society.

The society’s mission is to preserve the cultural treasure of popular music from the 1920’s to 1960’s by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

“People around the world are familiar with this music and honor it as a true American legacy,” Said Kaplan, “The Preservation Society will expose young audiences to jazz singers committed to the Songbook.”

 

“Community outreach is more than a commitment for Allstate Insurance Company; it’s a passion.  That dedication is demonstrated through charitable giving and volunteerism”, said Hank Barge, field vice president of the California Region.

In California, 201 Agency Hands in the Community Awards will be awarded this year with over $100,000 in charitable contributions being made to non-profit organizations.

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from the Allstate Insurance Company. Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in communities across the country.

The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by the Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer.  Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate provides insurance and financial investment products to more than 16 million households and has approximately 12,300 exclusive agents and financial specialists in the U.S. and Canada. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities”; “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity”; and “economic empowerment”.  The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America’s families achieve their American dream.

ContactShelly Taliani  916-859-8805

AUGUST 4, 2005

Saving the Songbook
By WALLACE BAINE

Sentinel staff writer

On Wednesday, the great Tony Bennett turned 79, a number that doesn’t sit well with Ron Kaplan. Yes, Kaplan is a big Tony Bennett fan, but his anxiety goes beyond that. The Aptos jazz singer is worried about the cultural legacy that Bennett represents. He’s worried about the Great American Songbook.

As a result, Kaplan is embarking on a noble and ambitious project to preserve what he calls “our gift to the world, our cultural treasure.” He’s referring to American music popular in the years between 1920 and 1950 that came out of the Tin Pan Alley tradition, Broadway and the Hollywood musical and written by such towering figures as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and others.

The aging of Bennett, who Kaplan calls the most prominent ambassador of American song alive today, means that the “American Songbook,” as the body of work is often called, may be in cultural eclipse. Thus, Kaplan’s effort, the American Songbook Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to underwriting and presenting performances of the songs that Bennett himself has called “the classical music of our time.”

“People all over the world are familiar with this music and honor it as a true American legacy,” said Kaplan who performs tonight in a double bill with San Francisco singer Paula West at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. “In our culture, however, we don’t seem to give it the same significance.”

The Songbook also includes such great songwriters as Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Mel Torme, Jerome Kern and great songwriting teams like Rodgers & Hart, Rodgers & Hammerstein and George & Ira Gershwin, encompassing hundreds of landmark songs from “My Funny Valentine” to “Over the Rainbow.”

Kaplan does not necessarily agree with those who believe that the emergence of young, sexy jazz singers like Diana Krall and Norah Jones means new life for the classic American Songbook. In Kaplan’s view, such artists haven’t developed their craft enough to explore the full range of the Songbook and, in fact, are involved in all sorts of musical cross-pollination that have lessened the impact of the Songbook on the American musical canon.

Citing a trend in which young jazz singers are turning to the work 1970s-era singer/songwriters like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, Kaplan says that young artists too often don’t have the commitment or the attention span to carry on the legacy.

“Today, there’s young musicians coming out of places like the Berklee School of Music, and they can do all these extended chords and jazz riffs. But they don’t really know the music. My fear is that these older people who really know the music, who know how to play it and how to sing it, those people are dying out.”

What Kaplan hopes to do about that is to build an internationally recognized organization that brings jazz singers committed to the Songbook to younger audiences. Tonight’s show with Kaplan and Paula West is a kind of example of the thing Kaplan hopes to start nationwide. The ASPS will enlist a roster of jazz musicians and vocalists and underwrite their performances in high-profile venues and jazz festivals across the U.S.

Kaplan said that he would give artists absolute freedom to interpret the music as they see fit, but would insist on only performing music considered part of the Songbook canon, and the shows meet certain standards of presentation.

“I think we would go in the direction of gowns and tuxedos and elevating it, like Duke Ellington did, to a certain level of sophistication.”

Kaplan is an accomplished jazz singer in his own right, having just recorded his fifth album on his own label, Kapland Records – “Saloon” will be a simple voice-and-piano album.

But he’s also been an independent insurance agent in Aptos for years. That business experience, he said, leads him in a direction more as a executive of the new organization rather than a performer.

Kaplan’s plans come into clearer focus when it comes to his budget. He hopes to raise a whopping $25 million from individuals, corporate grants and foundations, which would give a yearly budget of about $1.25 million. He’s already gotten words of support from such prominent figures as jazz critic and writer Nat Hentoff and star trumpeter and jazz preservationist Wynton Marsalis.

In addition to constantly honing his instrument as a singer, Kaplan has also taken courses in nonprofit management, hoping to give the new organization a solid foundation. Now comes the hard part, shaking the trees.

“(Preserving the Songbook) is just such an American, patriotic thing to do, I really don’t see why anyone wouldn’t respond to it. I just have to go out now and hit the bricks. I have to make it happen.”

www.GreatAmericanSongbook.org.

wbaine@santacruzsentinel.com.

If You Go

WHAT: Ron Kaplan and Paula West, in a benefit concert for the American Songbook Preservation Society.

WHEN: 7 p.m., tonight.

WHERE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz.

COST: $14 advance; $16 at the door (with 6 p.m. dinner $25).

DETAILS: 427-2227.

Copyright (c) Santa Cruz Sentinel. All rights reserved.
————————————————————————-

JULY, 2005

Dear Friends, Supporters, Media, and Music Lovers!

Good wishes one and all. Please join me in person or in spirit in support of the first benefit concert on behalf of American Songbook Preservation Society …Singing the Great American Songbook. This inaugural Concert Event features Bay Area Singers Paula West and Ron Kaplan. If you cannot attend and would like to make a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the music of composers such as George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Fields, Lerner & Lowe, Rogers and Hart and Hammerstein, and I could go on, by presenting singers performing this truly American body of work to audiences at home and abroad.

Please donate online @ www.greatamericansongbook.org/make_a_donation.htm or mail your Contribution to ASPS 9051-A Soquel Drive Aptos, Ca. 95003-4035 Federal ID Tax #56-2410339

Thank you for your support!
Ronald Kaplan
Executive Director

AMERICAN SONGBOOK PRESERVATION SOCIETY…Singing the Great American Songbook. www.greatamericansongbook.org

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2005/August/04/style/stories/01style.htm

INAUGURAL BENEFIT CONCERT
7PM Thursday, August 4th
Kuumbwa Jazz Center 320 Cedar Street Santa Cruz (831) 427-2227
Featuring Singers Paula West www.paulawest.net
& Ron Kaplan www.ronkaplan.com
Concert only $14/Adv $16/Door Jazz & Dinner $25
Doors & Dinner beginning at 6PM.
Advance Tickets: Logos Book & Records 1117 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz 427-5100 TicketWeb.com online, or (866) 777-7932
For additional information contact ASPS (831) 687-0278 or email info@greatamericansongbook.org
Links with photos and expanded information:
www.kuumbwajazz.org/calendar/080405.htm
www.greatamericansongbook.org/inaugConcert.htm

APRIL, 2005

Contact: Ron Kaplan, Kapland Records
kaplandisc@aol.com  687-0278 or 688-7312 www.ronkaplan.com
For interviews as feature/special interest/entertainment, additional press photos, or information for placement in print.

“Don’t try to adjust your Television Set…you’ll have to adjust your frame of mind when tuning into Lounging Around with Ron Kaplan”.

Who: Ron Kaplan, Singer, Actor, Comedian, Insurance Agent?

What: Lounging Around with Ron Kaplan, the Television Series.

When: World Premiere on Saturday Night April 23rd, at 9:30 P.M. beginning with Episode 1 of 6 and continuing weekly at the same time slot for the next six weeks.

Where: Community Television of Santa Cruz County, channel 27 on Comcast Cable and channel 73 on Charter Cable.

Why: To create a cult classic through an innovative approach yielding what Kaplan believes are the fundaments for sustaining viewers interest in the medium of Television today by making it visually captivating, irreverent and stupefying. Lounging Around is a musical variety comedy show with a modern day Dean Martin sensibility featuring Hot Jazz, Cool Lounge, bawdy and irreverent comedy sketches, reoccurring characters, pretty girls, a novelty act, and special effects. To top it off, the show is in the realm of what Kaplan calls “reality-animation”. This is a must see and would be great fun to view in the company of others as a “Happening”.

A meditation in overcoming adversity

The series is the culmination of 2 ½ years of efforts to bring this project to fruition and onto the screen. This show was developed initially as an experiment in art and music showcasing Kaplan’s talents and adding to his body of work as a recording artist, comedian, and actor. The project brings together the loves, lives, talents, and skills of Ron Kaplan its creator. Portions of the show feature the music of the idiom of Jazz presented in a new format to reach a new audience and continue the historical legacy of this American art form. Portions of the comedic sketch material are original characters developed by Kaplan and some are dimentionalized versions of his favorite jokes as told by fellow Jazz musicians.

“Some of the characters have inhabited my mind for years. This was a chance to flesh them out and express myself after years of dormancy while focusing on singing and producing recordings. About three years ago I took some acting classes and rediscovered my love of acting and comedy from my teenage years in school. I got some work as an actor but decided to make my own statement as a way of turning around the paradigm. I pitched the story to one of the producers I knew at Community Television of Santa Cruz County who liked the concept. After setting up production for the entire shoot originally scheduled to be shot in five consecutive days, I got a call from the producer at 9 pm the night before saying he was unable to secure the facility. I had to make all those phone calls that night to cancel. It was like hitting a brick wall at 90 miles per hour. What a nightmare. I was stunned and in shock for days. I was eventually able to reschedule everything and everybody over a three-month period of time.

After securing the content, it was on to editing and production. After spending several months working with the same producer as editor, the shows were completed but unable to be rendered as an output onto DVD, and then the worst possible thing that could have happened did…his computer crashed and all of the shows were lost except for the raw materials, less one or two pieces. Needless to say, I was devastated once again. So, I tookthe project to the editor who I originally wanted to work with and who happened to be highly capable, but his free time was a rare commodity. Fortunately we were able to recreate the 6 episodes for the series in a relatively short period of time.

I am so delighted and excited about the series. It is really fun and very “out” as we say in jazz. That is, not inside the lines.

I’m hoping it will develop a local cult following of sorts. It was really meant to be an experience to share in the company of others.

Happy accidents…a vision evolves

“In the early process of editing the swimwear modeling segment, we noticed you could see the veins in the legs of girls because it was cold in the studio. In attempting to mitigate the problem we discovered the show was much more visually stimulating and captivating when animated, and that it placed it into an entirely different realm. This then caused me to rethink the entire concept of the show and made me realize that it was also much more interesting to mock myself rather than take myself so seriously. This in turn caused me to steer 180 degrees from my initial concept and made the entire show much more interesting. There are some fun surprises as well. The show was intended an experience for the viewer. I hope people dig it on all of its levels. In spite of the false starts, trials and tribulations, it always gives me a great sense of accomplishment to complete an artistic endeavor and make it manifest by bringing it to fruition to share with others and add it to my personal body of work. The artists who worked with me and the crew and set designers are to be commended. Their joining in and giving of themselves made this project a work of art. Thanks to Don Scott, Ray Johnny, Tisa Kopstein, Judith Wellner, Anna Corey, Frank Lima aka Morgani, Tiffany & Arlene Burns of Tiffany’s Antiques, Kelly Mechem of Bad Kitty Swimwear, Lara Marotta of Galla Cabana, Lou Zamora, Bryan Coleman, Loyd Van Zante, George Milo Buck, our lovely models and very talented musicians including Larry Scala who wrote the theme song, Geoff Eales, Dan Robbins, Steve Robertson, Walter Bankovitch, Carla Kaufman, Olaf Schiappacasse and Community Television of Santa Cruz County”.

Future plans for the show?

“After premiering in Santa Cruz, I will have the show air in surrounding counties and will shop it around to see if I can get it going nationally and/or internationally. I will also have it available on my website www.ronkaplan.com this summer and eventually on filmbaby.com, an adjunct to cdbaby.com. You never know what can happen. It might open some doors. I will enter the show in some film festivals as well”.             In the meantime Ronald Kaplan remains an exclusive Agent with Allstate Insurance Company where he has officed in Aptos for the past twenty years. Ronald Kaplan is the Executive Director of American Songbook Preservation Society, a performance based not-for-profit singing the Great American Songbook of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway Revues and Hollywood Musicals. The Foundation is dedicated to continuing the legacy of the America’s classical music Jazz. To learn more visit www.greatamericansongbook.org  A benefit concert is scheduled for August 4th at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz featuring Bay Area singer Paula West and Ron Kaplan.

Lounging Around with Ron Kaplan airs Saturday nights at 9:30 PM on channel 27 on Comcast and channel 73 on Charter beginning April 23rd for six weeks.

 

 

DECEMBER, 2004

Happy Holidays from Ron Kaplan and Kapland Records…in jazz we trust.

                        Wishing each and every one of you an exceptional New Year!                  

My latest recording entitled Jazz Ambassadors is available from Kapland Records where you may find reviews including this one from Singer Magazine @ www.ronkaplan.com/singerMagazineReview.htm and you may purchase or download this recording as well as my other catalog discs: Dedicated, Lounging Around, and High Standards at www.ronkaplan.com/highstandards.htm These recordings are also available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kaplan4 If you want to acquire collectibles & logo items from Kapland Records…visit www.cafepress.com/kapland

On another note.. If you would like to assist me in building a World Class Organization to continue the legacy of the Great American Songbook for future generations, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the: American Songbook Preservation Society…Singing the Great American Songbook.

Our Mission: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song. To learn more and to Donate…visit us online at www.GreatAmericanSongbook.org or mail us @ ASPS 9051-A Soquel Drive Aptos, Ca. 95003 (831) 687-0278. The American Songbook Preservation Society is a 501 (C) (3) Charitable Foundation. As such, your donation is tax deductible.

Thank you for your Support !

Ron Kaplan
Kapland Records
…in jazz we trust
www.ronkaplan.com

Loveallbeall

SEPTEMBER, 2004

The Allstate Foundation Awards Ronald S. Kaplan The Agency Hands in the Community Award

Ronald S. Kaplan was awarded the Agency Hands in the Community Award for his commitment to volunteering in the musical community. With this award comes a $500 grant from The Allstate Foundation for the American Songbook Preservation Society where Ronald S. Kaplan volunteers as Executive Director.

Ronald received the award for his personal commitment to building a national foundation to continue the legacy of the collective body of work known as the Great American Songbook for future generations to discover and enjoy. The years of 1920-1960 represent a unique period in America history, which is considered to be the zenith of this truly American art form and craft, consisting of the Songsmiths, Lyricists, and Arrangers of the Tin Pan Alley Revues, Broadway and Hollywood Musicals. This music was the popular music of the day and later became the reservoir of the Jazz Standards repertoire. Some of the better-known names from this period include Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

2005 will mark Ronald’s 20th anniversary as an Allstate Agent in Aptos, California. He is a Singer who is passionate about this art form and has just released his 4th recording on his label Kapland Records, founded in 1997. Ronald Kaplan was nominated by Leslie Carpenter, market business consultant at Allstate Insurance Company.

“Community outreach is more than a commitment for Allstate Insurance Company; it’s a passion. That dedication is demonstrated through charitable giving and volunteerism. Through their volunteer efforts, many of our agents — including Ronald — put time, energy, expertise and compassion behind community projects, making a significant impact in the lives of those they touch,” said Leslie Carpenter.

source :: jazz press service

© 2004 jazz news

Jazz Ambassadors cover

AUGUST, 2004

Kapland Records www.ronkaplan.com Announces the release of Jazz Ambassadors
Available from: Kapland Records www.ronkaplan.com/highstandards.htm
CDBaby: www.cdbaby.com/kaplan4

This recording was made in application to the Jazz Ambassadors Program through the Department of State and The John F. Kennedy center for the Performing Arts featuring vocal jazz in 2004.

To learn more about the Jazz Ambassadors project visit: www.euroclubdejazz.com/thejazzambassadors/files/about.htm 

Review by Editor, Wes Gillespie…EuroClubdeJazz

The Jazz Ambassadors have been described as a mix of Seasoned Veterans and Young Lions. what is for sure on this recording is that they are a gathering of dynamic musicians who offer a tonic of timeless jazz vocal classics.

Ron Kaplan has put together a tight piano trio with Eddie Mendenhall on piano, Dan Robbins on bass and Steve Robertson on drums to perform some of the most revered songs from the exotic treasure chest of the “Great American Songbook”.

These songs need no introduction to the listener and provide a montage of wonderful arrangements, improvisation and dazzling musicianship.

Ron is a connoisseur of this music and has studied the history of its birth, rise and interpretation for four decades. This wealth of experience and immersion in the genre provides him with the tools he needs to deliver the warmth and dexterity he offers on the Jazz Ambassadors.

Like the opening It Don’t Mean A Thing, a swinger from the outset with the rhythm section and vocalist employing a certain amount of artistic freedom with a walking bass predominant throughout. On this cut Ron has the warm and mature delivery of a later day Mel Torme. The Bossa Nova version of Body And Soul is the album’s highlight for me, a wonderful listening experience of the Heyman, Green, sour and Eyton classic.

September Song is an eclectic offering performed in the Tony Bennett style: “I Left My Heart…” Ron’s venerable vocal style leads to a spectacular piano solo from Eddie Mendenhall and provides an atypical expression of the musical integrity of when this song was first penned.

On an album of true class and panache, other highlights include the magical Stella By Starlight, Green Dolphin Street, and the jewel in the crown, ‘Round Midnight, the Thelonious Monk classic where Ron evokes compassion in his stylistic vocal paraphrasing and flair.

The closing Don’t Get Around Much Anymore is a panoply of articulations and rhythms, which reiterates the romantic lyricism by Ron, and the spontaneous appeal of this tight piano trio. Unfortunately it is difficult to find an album nowadays of vocal jazz classics performed with astute vocal and rhythmic detail, but “Jazz Ambassadors” is an eloquent testimony which provides a continuum for great male vocal jazz.

The whole package has a pristine feel and encapsulates these vintage songs with a quartet of superior musicians who have risen to the challenge to provide a trademark jazz set.

This recording is not to be missed and is available from Kapland Records or EuroClubdeJazz Showcase Artists.

*This recording includes new lyrics to the Oliver Nelson composition Stolen Moments by Ron Kaplan. 

If you are Radio or Press and interested in copy for play, review or an interview… Contact: Ronald Kaplan President, Kapland Records kaplandisc@aol.com P.O. Box 742 Aptos, Ca. 95001 (831) 687-0278 or fax (831) 685-2609