Ron Sanfilippo, Teaching Associate

Ron Sanfilippo, Jazz Piano

I have been an active performer and educator in the New England area for over 40 years. Playing guitar and trumpet throughout high school I was playing in nightclubs at 16 years of age sharing the stage with recording artists The Cowsills. I studied music education at the University of Rhode Island and eventually transferred to Berklee School of music where I began to study piano. After two semesters, financial hardship forced me to drop out of school. During the next 15 years I studied jazz piano privately with such renowned teachers as Harvey Diamond, Charlie Binacos, Dean Earl, Hal Crook Donald Brown, and Kenny Werner. I then returned to Berklee College of Music where I was named to the National Deanʼs List and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging.   I fulfilled my teaching requirements from the University of RI and taught for eight years in the Portsmouth , RI middle school where I directed bands from grades 5-8, taught general music, and collaborated with department colleagues to completely redesign curriculum to expand and modernize the music program. In 1997 I joined the faculty of Brown University and The Rhode Island Philharmonic/Music School where I teach jazz piano and directs jazz ensembles.   I have performed as a solo artist and in small groups in mansions, hotels, nightclubs, and private venues throughout New England. Some performance highlights were the Newport Jazz Festival in 1988, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and toured Manchester England with the Big Nazoʼs, a concert of all original music for the Rhode Island Council for the Arts with world renowned drummer Alan Dawson, and a two hour concert of all original music with a ten piece band in Newport , RI.. I have performed with such famous artists as George Benson, Greg Abate, Dan Moretti, Hal Crook, Dick Johnson, and others.  

Recording Highlights  

  • Received critical acclaim as a solo artist and arranger for “Now and Then”, (North Star Records NS0050)   
  • Arranged musical scores and appeared as guest keyboard artist on Bruce Foulkeʼs “Evening Tide” and “Savannah” recordings (North Star Records)   
  • Arranged musical scores and performed as featured guest pianist for “Holiday Reflections” --- a custom project for The Nature Company (North Star Records)   

The jazz piano course I teach here at Brown is very structured covering all the elements necessary in understanding and performing this music, focusing on keyboard theory and harmony, voice leading, chord scales, and improvisation. I have also helped many students who wish to compose by incorporating that into their lesson plan. I welcome all students, jazz, classical, and non pianists.