Tag Archives: Ron Kalina

Final Note: Ron Kalina

Life Member. Piano
(8/4/1928 – 1/13/2016)

by Jim Self, Life Member, AFM Local 47

On Jan. 13, 2016, Ron Kalina, one of my dearest friends and musical mentors, passed away peacefully at 87 in Palm Springs. In my early years in Los Angeles I was a busy bass player and, after the devastating strike in 1980, I relied a lot on bass gigs to pay the bills. I was also looking for a neat sound to make my first jazz tuba recording. One night I played a casual with this wonderful, swinging pianist Ron Kalina. Later in the evening he pulled out a harmonica and played great jazz while also comping with one hand on the piano. I was blown away by his sound and talent and thought, “wow, harmonica and tuba might be a really unique sound for a jazz band.” I needed a musical project to get me out of the doldrums of those down studio years and thought I could make an interesting jazz recording and maybe help me progress as a musician. Continue reading