Ron Bruner


The Lion King Parade 96-97, Bayou Brass, Gloryland Brass Band, Christmas Clarinet Choir, Main St. Merchants Association Municipal Brass Band, Disneyland Band
and the Pearly Band.

Ron’s Experience Working at “The Park”:

My experience at Disneyland began in ’96 when I was asked by an old friend to come and audition for the Lion King Parade. Playing the Djembe which is an indigenous African drum which I literally had to learn how to play. I came at the beginning of the last year of the parade. Shortly after that I began subbing in the Bayou Brass Band a few days a month for Dean Koba. This really got me acclimated to the Disney music culture.
During that time the Park auditioned drummers to create two new New Orleans Second Line styled bands of which I was hired to sub in the Gloryland Brass Band. Which after a few months I became the regular. During that time I was able to sub every now and then in the Disneyland Band. After about 5 years a new group was formed, The Main St. Merchant’s Association Municipal Brass Band. And in 2006 upon Ray Templin’s retiring, I was granted the Bass Drum chair in the Disneyland Band. I must add that the common denominator for me from the Gloryland Bass to the Disneyland Band was Snare Drummer Joe Shaw. I should’ve gotten college credit for years I spent working alongside him.
During that time an afternoon group called “The Pearly Band” began in which I was granted the Snare Drum chair til this current day. This group was featured in the original Mary Poppins movie. Of course there was a Mary Poppins show developed around this ensemble.

What I Have Learned Working With Ron:

Ron and I became full time musicians at Disneyland right about the same time in the mid 1990’s, both of us playing in “opposing” New Orleans Second Line jazz bands – him in the “Gloryland Brass Band”, and me in the “New Orleans St Band”.  From the very first time I heard him play, Ron started teaching me (unofficially) how to put more groove and feel into my own drumming.  Whether Ron is playing snare drum or bass drum (or even a Kadiddlehopper!), you can be sure it will have a pocket!  While Ron doesn’t go around name dropping or bragging about his musical credits/accomplishments (read more below in “Beyond the Park”), he has been a constant reminder to me that it is a good practice to ask drummers that you admire about their experience and musical influences.  About 10 years ago I asked  Ron one day what is favorite funk/rock grooves were that informed his pocket, and I am to this day still trying to make my way through all of his favorite music suggestions – which will never happen because like all great drummers, Ron is constantly growing by checking out (and recommending to me) new artists.  Be sure to check out some of the music from Ron’s band “Strange Jazz Universe” because his theme park drumming is only a smattering of Ron’s many constantly evolving musical accomplishments.

Beyond “The Park”:

Ron has performed, toured, and or recorded with The Temptations, The Supremes, Gary Bartz, Chameleon (Elektra Asylum), Johnny Gill, Howard Hewett, Rockie Robbins, Randy Crawford, Chapter 8, Wayne Vaughn, Jody Watley, Helen Baylor, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy and others.