Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, Ron Haynes began his musical career while still in his teens, gigging with blues artists like Tyrone Davis, Otis Clay and Artie "Blues Boy" White as well as with his own band. He honed his lead trumpet, music reading and soloing skills while attending Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., and later transferred to North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., where he studied under jazz great Donald Byrd.
After returning to Chicago, Ron eventually joined Jazz Friends, the house band at the Cotton Club. He played there for five years while also working in such groups as the 17-piece pop band Gentlemen of Leisure. Broadening his horizons, he also played and recorded with the world-beat band Dhamba 8.
It was through his many years of playing at the Cotton Club that Ron met actor/comic Bernie Mac. Ron took on the role of horn section leader for the Mac Men for Bernie's HBO variety show "Midnight Mac with Bernie Mac," writing and arranging various horn parts and backing up such artists as Chaka Khan, George Duke, Brian McKnight, Sugar Blue, Sheila E and Brown Stone. And he formed his own horn section, the Chicago Storm Horns, which went on to join the classic old-school funk band the Ohio Players.
Ron was an early recruit to Liquid Soul and recorded on all four of the band's CDs, including "Here's the Deal," which was Grammy-nominated in 2001 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. In October 1997, Ron released his first CD as a solo artist, "Cool Work," consisting mostly of original songs and arrangements written by him and long-time friend Spright E. Simpson III. On his Cool Work tour, he promoted the disc by playing in such Midwestern clubs as the Cubby Bear, the Note, the Backroom and the Green Room. He still keeps busy recording jingles in addition to working on his second soon-to-be-released CD.
In recent years, Ron has been increasingly active in the studio. Working with renowned producer and keyboardist Ramsey Lewis, he is featured on the acclaimed contemporary jazz CD Urban Knights IV. He also has a featured role on Urban Knights Presents the Chicago Project produced by Frayne Lewis, plus he played on Mike Manson's latest CD. Stay tuned for Two Man Crew, a special upcoming CD featuring original compositions by Ron and Liquid Soul's drummer, Victor Baker.
Ron exclusively plays and endorses Curtois trumpets distributed by the G. Leblanc Corp.