Ronnie Magri is a noted American drummer, percussionist who can be heard in many different musical circles. His style of playing is varied and he has been associated with artists in the rock, jazz and punk genres.
Magri's drumming style displays a diverse set of influences from early jazz drummers Baby Dodds & Gene Krupa to Earl Palmer & the early drummers of rock & roll. It is in subtly combining these influences as well as the drum stylings of New Orleans "street beats" & "second line drumming" that Magri's style is truly brought forth.
New Orleans 1998 - Photo by Mick Vovers
In 1984, at the age of 21, Ronnie joined Combat Records recording artists Sweet Pain, and is featured on their debut self titled album. The album featured guitarist Richie Ranno of 1970's power pop group Starz and future L.A. Guns bassist Kelly Nickels. In March 1985, Sweet Pain played in front of 3,500 people at L'Amour Brooklyn opening up for Ace Frehley at one of Ace's first solo shows after departing Kiss. Ronnie would leave the band before the release of the album and a year later, the band was history. In 2009, renowned rock & roll photographer Ross Halfin wrote on his blog about the Sweet Pain record, "this is one of Phil Collen (Def Leppard guitarist) and my all-time fave record".
CBGB'S NYC 1988 - Photo by Lady Alchemy ©
Starting in 1988, and over the next few years, Ronnie would work with Joey Ramone (The Ramones), Stiv Bators (Lords of the New Church, The Dead Boys) & Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys) as a member of Geffen Records recording artists The Throbs (1988-1991). The Throbs released one album, the 1991 titled "The Language Of Thieves And Vagabonds". Produced by legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper) and guitar great Dick Wagner (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper) the album features a special appearance by "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" Little Richard on piano. The Throbs were on heavy rotation on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball" with the video for their first single "Come Down Sister" which Ronnie co-wrote. Though short-lived, the band's impact is still felt today, being a major influence of modern rock group The 69 Eyez, among others.
Ronnie w/ The Throbs in the studio with Little Richard - Hollywood 1990
In 1995, on the suggesting of Little Richard, Ronnie relocated to New Orleans to study the city's rich musical culture, including the history of New Orleans Drumming. During that time, Ronnie played with some of the best jazz, rhythm & blues & funk players in the Crescent City, including: Herb Hardesty (Fats Domino), The Palm Court Jazz Band, Duke Heiger (Squirrel Nut Zippers), the Storyville Stompers, the Dukes of Dixieland, Jacques Gauthe (Sidney Bechet), John Royen (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), Jack Maheu (Salt City Six), Jerry Jumonville (Professor Longhair), James Singleton (James Booker), Lars Edegran (New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra) and Evan Christopher... to name a few. From 2001 till 2008 Ronnie was a member of clarinetist Tim Laughlin's New Orleans All-Stars Jazz Band, along with Connie Jones and Tom McDermott and can be heard on Laughlin's 2005 release "Live in Germany".
Port Of New Orleans Jazz Band
In 1999, Ronnie formed his own New Orleans style jazz group playing hot Jazz from the 20's, 30's & 40's called "The Port of New Orleans Jazz Band". In 2000, the group won an Offbeat Music Award for "Best Emerging Traditional Jazz Band".
From 1999 to 2004, Ronnie was the musical director and drummer for one of the nation's first authentic neo-burlesque revival show "The Shim Sham Revue". The show featured special guest appearances by Playboy Covergirl and Burlesque Star, Dita Von Teese. Since then Ronnie has collaborated with Dita on music for her burlesque shows, including her 2006 show MAC Viva Glam "Lipteese" and her 2007 show "Be Cointreau".
Ronnie On Stage With Dita Von Teese
In 2002, Ronnie expanded his work to include production, including producing his first solo album "Shim Sham Revue" - Music of New Orleans Burlesque Shows of the 30's, 40's & 50's. The album was nominated for two Offbeat Magazine Awards for "Best Album by a Louisiana Artist" and "Best Emerging Band." He was also nominated for a Big Easy Award for "Best Traditional Jazz Band". In 2004 Ronnie & his group appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Ronnie Magri & His New Orleans Jazz Band
Music from Ronnie's "Shim Sham Revue" album can be heard in such TV shows as: 2006's “Sexual Healing” (Showtime TV), 2005's “Forty Deuce” (Bravo TV), 2003's “The Nightlife That Was” (WYES TV New Orleans), 2002's "Freeride with Greta Gaines" (Oxygen Network) and 2001's “It’s Burlesque” (A&E Television).
In 2005 after the devastation to New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina, Ronnie started laying roots back in New York and joined the band The NYC Blues Devils. Members of the NYC Blues Devils have worked with: Bruce Springsteen, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and Prince. In 2006 Ronnie recorded and co-produced their debut album, titled "Hell Yeah". The group became a regular at the famed B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill in New York's Times Square, opening for Bo Diddley, James Cotton, Willy "Mink" Deville, David "Honeyboy" Edwards and Robert Lockwood Jr. among others. In 2006, Real Blues Magazine named The NYC Blues Devils album "Hell Yeah" as one of their "Top 20 Albums of the Year".
NYC Blues Devils
Since 2008 Ronnie has been living full-time in New York after spending 6 months bouncing back & forth post-Katrina. Available for hire for studio work, touring and local New York area gigs, contact Ronnie Magri at: firstname.lastname@example.org