Ronnie Burrage

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Ronnie Burrage (born October 19, 1959, St. Louis, Missouri) is an American jazz drummer.[1] His style draws elements from hard bop, bebop, funk, and soul.

Burrage sang in the St. Louis Cathedral boys' choir from age seven to eleven and performed with Duke Ellington at the age of nine. He also played drums, percussion and vibraphone and sang in several funk, R & B and jazz groups including The Soul Flamingos, Fontella Bass, Oliver Sain, Third Circuit & Spirit, Rainbow Glass, and Expression Jazz Quintet. His introduction to jazz was formed from listening to the music almost every waking hour from uncles and grandparents. His uncles, Allen, Michael, Noel, Dale aka Ahmad and trumpeter Jan Mahr aka, Rasul Siddik were most inspirational to his pursuance in learning this music, as each had a love of jazz in all its forms and facets. Burrage played in the St. Louis Metropolitan Jazz Quintet from 1975 to 1977 and was considered[by whom?] a child prodigy to be playing with standing members of this particular quintet such as John Mixon, who played bass with Grant Green and Miles Davis, James "Iron Head" Matthews piano, Freddie Washington, Willie Akins saxophone and Ben Jones trumpet. He was also a favorite of vocalist Mae Wheeler's jazz group, featuring guitarist Marvin Horne.[citation needed]

From age 15 to 17, Burrage was also involved in a collective band called No Commercial Potential with Mark Friedrick on keyboards, Darryl Mixon on bass (son of John Mixon), and Richie Daniels on guitar that opened many fusion concerts for George Duke, Gino Vannelli and others. He played in many jazz clubs, concerts and venues including St. Louis' annual "Afro Day in the Park". Also while still a teenager, Burrage and his own band, Alexis, managed by his mother, Cosandra Burrage, worked with correctional institutions throughout St. Louis and Illinois in an outreach program to bring about positive change.

At 17, Burrage moved to New York City and played with Sonny Fortune, Lester Bowie, Defunkt, Teruo Nakamura, Sir Roland Hanna, Major Holley, Arthur Blythe, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and McCoy Tyner. During his three-year tenure with McCoy Tyner, Burrage did frequent master classes at The Berklee College of Music in Boston where many great jazz musicians were students. Such notables as Branford Marsalis, Frank "Kuumba"Lacy, Donald Harrison, Terence Conely, Victor Bailey, Gene Jackson, Kevin Eubanks, and many other successful musicians. He played with Woody Shaw and then cofounded Third Kind of Blue with John Purcell and Anthony Cox. Later work includes recordings with Defunkt, Barbara Dennerlein, Michal Urbaniak, Ray Anderson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Joanne Brackeen, Jack Walrath, Sonny Fortune, Courtney Pine, Joe Zawinul, Archie Shepp, the World Saxophone Quartet and Gary Thomas. Burrage toured with Wayne Shorter, one of the greatest jazz composers of the late 20th century.

"The Burrage Ensemble" was Ronnie's first band playing primarily in New York City from 1980-1983 as well as jazz festivals in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston and Washington, DC. Members were Kenny Kirkland on piano and keyboards, Marcus Miller on bass, Joe Ford on saxes and flute. Other members of the ensemble included Rasul Siddik on trumpet, Branford Marsalis on sax, Avery Sharpe on basses, Wynton Marsalis on trumpet, and Wallace Roney on trumpet.

In 1978, on a full music scholarship, Burrage attended North Texas State University. At Jazz Mobile N.Y.C. from 1994-2002, he was instructor drum and percussion while being instructor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1996. He was substitute instructor at The New School in New York, New York from 1992 to 2000. Currently, Burrage is producer and artistic director at Bluenoise Studio, Frederick, Maryland, as well as professor of practice at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, teaching hip-hop music and culture and A Closer World in the Art, African and African-American studies and Integrative Arts Departments.


  • Ronnie Burrage Band. Austria, Martinique, US, 2012
  • Ronnie Burrage Group. USA, Martinique, Europe, 2011
  • Azar Lawrence, US
  • Third Kind of Blue, US
  • Band Burrage, East Coast
  • “Q.K.R.” w / Quincy Troupe, Kelvyn Bell, East Coast, St. Louis, US 2010
  • Bluenoise, Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival
  • Ronnie Burrage Group, Wash. DC, Baltimore, State College, Philadelphia West Oak Lane Festival, Philadelphia 2009
  • Archie Shepp, San Francisco Jazz Festival
  • Ronnie Burrage Group, Russia, Siberia
  • Third Kind Of Blue, w/ Essiet Okun Essiet & Alain Bradette, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., State College, PA, New York 2008
  • Ronnie Burrage Group, Orlando, St. Louis, Russia, Siberia
  • The Collective Arkadi Owrutski, Frank Lacy, Joe Ford, Russia, Ukraine
  • Savion Glover St. Thomas, London
  • Band Burrage West Oak Lane Jazz Festival Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Orlando
  • Frank Morgan US
  • Archie Shepp NYC 2007
  • Sam Rivers U.S.A., Europe
  • Witzigmann Palozzo, Munich
  • Chris Byrne Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival State College PA
  • Band Burrage w/ Benito Gonzales, Mike Boone, Sid Simmons
  • NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis 2006
  • Band Burrage w/Jeff Rupert, Bobby Keoble & Doug Matthews Orlando, FL.
  • Ronnie Burrage Trio w/Benito Gonzales & James King, Baltimore and Frederick, MD
  • Ronnie Burrage & Othello Montelaux Tribute to Jaco Pastorius “Hollywood Jazz
  • Festival” Hollywood, Florida Ronnie Burrage Trio w/Sid Simmons & James King An
  • Die Muzik Hall Ronnie Burrage & Magnets Portland Oregon Ronnie Burrage
  • Trio performed for the Inaugural Celebration / Assemblyman Roger Green N.Y.
  • Root Down Blue’s Alley Carl Grubbs East Coast Tour 2005
  • Jackie & Rene McClean w/James Moody & Gary Bartz / African Sax Summit
  • North Sea Festival Cape Town South Africa
  • Frank Morgan USA
  • Magnets U.S.A. 2004
  • Wallace Roney, Europe Japan USA
  • Frank Morgan U.S.A.
  • Ronnie Burrage Monterey Mexico, U.S.A. 2001 – 2003
  • Archie Shepp Group Europe
  • Stafford James Project Europe
  • Gary Bartz Ensemble New York 2000
  • Michal Urbaniak, Poland, Europe
  • Bobby Watson & Horizon, Italy, NYC
  • Band Burrage St. Louis Mo., Kentucky
  • Coltrane Legacy Big Band w/ Reggie Workman, Magic Triangle Jazz Series, Amherst MA., PECO Jazz Festival Philadelphia, Lincoln Center, N.Y.C.
  • John Butler Group, Peru
  • Sonny Simmons Penn State, Knitting Factory N.Y.C. 1999
  • Band Burrage Jazz Arts Festival / Blue’s Alley Washington DC, Sweet Basils / JVC Jazz Fest. The Knitting Factory NYC, The Iron Horse Café, North Hampton MA.
  • The World Saxophone Quartet / featured artist in the “World Cup Parade” / Banlieues Blue Fest. Paris France Festival, Ancona Jazz Festival Ancona Italy
  • The Firm w/ Reggie Workman, Ernie Watts, Mark Whitfield, Ronnie Burrage, Litchfield Jazz Festival
  • Reggie Workman's Coltrane Legacy, Jazz Arts Festival Washington, DC
  • Sonny Fortune The Flint Michigan Jazz Festival, The Kentucky Jazz Arts Festival 1998
  • The Firm w/ Reggie Workman Ernie Watts Mark Whitfield Ronnie Burrage NewYork, USA
  • Carlos Ward Band England, Europe
  • Buster Williams Stafford James Ensemble with Anga Diaz Europe
  • Ed Schuller Group Europe 1997
  • Ronnie Burrage / Gary Thomas / Dave Kikoski / Andrzej Cudzich Band Poland
  • Carlos Ward England Europe 1996
  • Courtney Pine Modern Day Jazz Stories Tour Europe, England, U.S.
  • Stafford James and Ronnie Burrage Project Europe
  • David Murray Midwest USA 1995
  • Band Burrage Japan
  • Gary Thomas Band Europe
  • Joe Zawinul Syndicate Europe, Jerusalem, Madagascar 1994
  • Ronnie Burrage and Eddie Henderson Poland Europe Bob Berg East Coast USA 1993
  • Band Burrage Europe
  • Sonny Fortune All Stars with Eddie Henderson, Clifford Adams Japan
  • Blue Brass Connection
  • Europe Sir Roland Hanna Trio Portugal
  • Eddie Gomez and Ronnie Burrage Moscow 1992
  • Courtney Pine USA, Canada
  • Monty Waters Europe
  • JoAnn Brakeen USA 1991
  • Ronnie Burrage Trio with Stanley Cowell & Cecil McBee Japan
  • Sonny Fortune Japan
  • JoAnn Brakeen Turkey
  • Jack Walrath, England Europe
  • Richard Davis and Clifford Jordan Japan
  • Blue Brass Connection Europe
  • Wayne Shorter USA, Canada, Europe 1990
  • Robin Eubanks USA 1989
  • Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya Europe, Africa
  • Michael Brecker Band Japan, USA
  • Freddie Hubbard Group USA 1988
  • Third Kind of Blue USA, Europe
  • Ray Anderson Europe
  • Jackie McClean Europe
  • Jack Walrath Puerto Rico 1987
  • Third Kind of Blue Europe, England, Yugoslavia
  • Michael Urbaniak Poland
  • Jackie McClean Europe 1986;1985
  • Third Kind of Blue Europe
  • Jackie McClean Europe
  • Cedar Walton Europe
  • Pepper Adams Europe
  • Woody Shaw and Joe Farrell Europe 1985;1984
  • Jaco Pastorius USA
  • Woody Shaw India, Africa, Middle East 1984;1983
  • Dave Valentine with Jerry Gonzales & Jorge Dalto Puerto Rico
  • Sonny Rollins and Pat Metheny Group USA, Canada
  • Chico Freeman, United States State Department Cultural Exchange Program
  • Japan, Europe, Middle East, India, Pakistan 1983
  • McCoy Tyner USA Canada Europe Japan Brazil 1979 - 83
  • Teruo Nakamura Rising Sun Band U.S.A., Japan
  • Defunkt, U.S.A. Europe
  • The Arthur Blythe Group New York 1978–83


As leader
As sideman

With Chico Freeman

  • Destiny's Dance (Contemporary, 1981)
  • Dale Barlow, Timeline Observastory / The Sessions MiMikAlana Records *Produced by RoBurrage Music Productions NYC (composition, drums, percussion, voice) 2012
  • Dr. Eli Byrne Bootleg Byrne Byrne Works Records (Ronnie Burrage - composition, drums, percussion, keyboards, piano, voice) 2008
  • Archie Shepp, Gemini Archie Ball Records, 2007
  • Piotr Wojtasik, 'Hope', Power Bros, 2003
  • Alan Glover, "The Anticipated Dawn" CMN Records, 1999
  • John "JB" Butler, "Live in Peru" JB Records, 1999
  • Mack Gollebon, "Nostalgia" Half Note Records, 1999
  • Sonny Fortune, In the Spirit of John Coltrane Shanachie Records, 1999
  • The Bluiett Baritone Saxophone Group, "Live at the Knitting Factory" produced by Ronnie Burrage on Knitting Factory Records, 1998
  • Bluiett Baritone Nation, "Libation for the Baritone Saxophone Nation" Justin Time Records, 1998
  • John Hicks John Hicks Trio w/ Strings Mapleshade Records Maryland (drums) 1998
  • Ed Schuller Ed Schuller & The 11th Hour Band, "Snake Dancing" Tutu Records Germany (drums, percussion, voice) 1998
  • Billy Bang, Bang On * produced by Ronnie Burrage, Justin Time Records NYC (drums) 1997
  • Jarek Smietana, Songs and Other Ballads featuring Art Farmer, Michal Urbaniak & Ronnie Burrage w/ Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by Wieslaw Pieregorolka orchestration by Wojtek Karolak Starling S.A. Records Poland (drums, percussion, voice) 1997
  • Jarek Smietana, Jarek Smietana Trio, You Never Know featuring Ronnie Burrage & Andrzej Cudzich Power Bros Records Poland (drums, percussion, voice) 1997
  • Andrzej Cudzich Quartet Able to Listen Featuring, Ronnie Burrage, Gary Thomas, Dave Kikoski, Polonia Records Poland (drums) 1996
  • The World Saxophone Quartet Takin It 2 the Next Level Justin Time Records *Ronnie Burrage & John Purcell Co-Producer NYC, Canada (composition, drums, percussion, keyboards, voice) 1996
  • Hamiet Bluiett Bluiett's Barbeque Band Mapleshade Records (drums, voice) 1996
  • Sonny Fortune, A Better Understanding Blue Note Records (drums, percussion) 1995
  • Courtney Pine Modern Day Jazz Story Verve Records (drums, percussion, hardware, sampling, sequencing)1995
  • Gunther Klatt New York Razzmatazz Vol. I, TuTu Records (drums, percussion) 1995
  • Ronnie Burrage Shuttle *produced by Ronnie Burrage Sound Hills Records NYC. Japan (composition, drums, percussion, voice, keyboards) 1994
  • Sonny Fortune Four in One Blue Note Records NYC (drums) 1994
  • Jarek Smietana Ballads and Other Songs Starling Records Poland (drums, percussion, voice) 1994
  • Avery Sharpe Extended Family JPNM Records NYC (drums, percussion) 1993
  • Ronnie Burrage and Eddie Gomez Live in Moscow & Live in Moscow 3CD Collection B&W Records Russia (drums) 1993
  • Sir Roland Hanna Sir Roland Hanna Plays Gershwin LRC LTD NYC (drums) 1993
  • The Adrian Mears & Johannes Enders Quartet Featuring Ronnie Burrage Discoveries ENJA Records Germany / NYC (drums) 1993
  • Ronnie Burrage, Jean Paul Bourelly, Lonnie Plaxico, Paul Zauner, Harry Sokal, Magnificent Five

Amadeo Records, PAO Polygram, *produced by Ronnie Burrage Austria / NYC (composition, drums, percussion) 1992


  1. ^ Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz. Rough Guides. pp. 209–. ISBN 9781843532569. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 

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