A Graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama Ron Jappy is an extremely accomplished musician, highly sought after as an arranger, guitarist, fiddle player, pianist and producer. He has always had a passion for performing and teaching and from a young age has made the best of opportunities presented to him. Influenced by a broad range of fantastic musicians and teachers, Ron has had a number of experiences presented to him through the rich and vibrant music scene of his current residence, Glasgow.
Born and brought up in the small coastal village of Findochty in the North East of Scotland, Ron began his musical journey when he received fiddle and piano lessons at primary school. During his teenage years, he then received tuition from Donald Barr (also a graduate of RSAMD), a dynamic and enthusiastic character, who was of great encouragement and inspiration. Through his tuition with Donald, Ron broadened his knowledge of Scottish fiddle music by joining the Strathspey fiddlers, performing not only locally but also internationally. Travelling with the group, he performed in many situations as a solo and group performer throughout the UK, Germany and Texas.
In his latter years of secondary school Ron acquired further experience in live performance through tuition with James Alexander MBE. This led to Ron finding his footing as a musician and he was soon in high demand for performances and events across the North East. Subsequently, he formed his first ceilidh band Cruachan with his brother Raemond, and fellow fiddlers Jack Smedley & Barbara Anderson before adding local guitarist Peter Reid. Ron has, and will be forever grateful to both Donald and James for the opportunities they provided to him as a youngster.
After moving to Glasgow to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Ron received lesson from Alistair McCulloch and soon came to appreciate a variety of styles & genres of fiddle playing, broadened his overall musical horizons. Since then, Ron has performed for a number of high profile individuals including; Sir Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Karen Gillan, Sir Patrick Stewart, Pippa Middleton, Ewan McGregor and Prince Charles.
After graduating in 2011, Ron was 1 of only 8 finalists to be invited to the prestigious Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship in Blair Castle and when invited back in 2012, he received 3rd place. Blair Castle has strong links and history with Scottish fiddle music, with world renowned fiddler Neil Gow being from near by Dunkled. Gow’s fiddle still lives in a glass cabinet in the main auditorium. Ron was also invited to perform in the Highlands & Islands Fiddle Masters in Oban in March 2012.
Through playing the fiddle, Ron has travelled extensively throughout the world with performances in countries such as; America, Bahrain, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and the UAE.
Today though, Ron finds himself more attracted to the accompaniment side of music and as such is recognised as one of Scotland’s prominent go to guitarists for Traditional and Folk music. Ron began his journey as an accompanist after being inspired by a performance by Ross Ainsle and Innes Watson at the Piping Centre in Glasgow and pinpoints this as a significant turning point in his career as a musician. Always supportive, and a never ending source of creativity, imagination and expressiveness, Innes continues to inspire and influence not just Ron, but other fellow guitarists and musicians alike.
Ron comments on his work as an accompanist and how it affects him as a musician…
“Being an accompanist is amazing, it truly is. I feel so lucky to be able to play with such a diverse range of talented musicians and seeing how this influences, shapes and inspires me as a player.
I love accompanying music and I love working with others, it’s something I’m really passionate about. The role of an accompanist is crucial to the success of any performance; I have to support and enhance the performer and help deliver what they are trying to convey. It is often an exciting and creative process that demands an assured and versatile approach, never overpowering and never detracting from the main message. ”
Throughout the years, Ron has played guitar with some of the most successful musicians in the industry including: Ainsley Hamill, Alistair McCulloch Trio, Barluath, Claire Hastings, Hannah Rarity, Iona Fyfe, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Joy Dunlop, Mànran, Rachel Hair, Robyn Stapleton Skerryvore and the Scott Wood Band.