2023 Award Winner: Ronny Whyte

March 4, 2023

ASCAP-Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award

Ronny Whyte spent his first six years of life in a log cabin that his father built on the outskirts of Seattle. He would pet the deer and beavers on his way to the outhouse. That’s a far cry from Ronny’s world today. He is now considered a premier interpreter of Classic American Popular Song, an outstanding jazz pianist, and a successful composer and lyricist.

An ASCAP Award–winning songwriter, his lyric “Forget the Woman” was recorded by Tony Bennett. His music for “The Party Upstairs” won the MAC Award for Best Song of 2006. 

For two years, Ronny appeared Off Broadway in the hit musical Our Sinatra, as well as its two national big-band tours, which played in more than 90 cities. He was featured twice at New York’s JVC Jazz Festival, and there he was inducted into the Cabaret Jazz Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR. Ronny produced and hosted the weekly concert series “Midday Jazz Midtown” at Saint Peter’s in Manhattan.

The Ronny Whyte Trio has performed in concert at Carnegie/Weill Hall, at New York’s Town Hall, at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery, and at the Mellon Jazz Festival in Philadelphia. He has played major engagements in New York at the Café Carlyle, Rainbow & Stars, the Oak Room at the Algonquin, and Feinstein’s at the Regency. Abroad, he has headlined in Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Sao Paolo, Caracas, and Johannesburg. Ronny often makes guest appearances with symphony orchestras, playing his arrangement of Porgy & Bess for Jazz Trio and Orchestra and other Gershwin works. 

An actor as well as a musician, he has played onstage in such diverse roles as Bobby in Company, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Joey in Pal Joey, and Vernon in They’re Playing Our Song.

He has recorded eleven CDs for Audiophile. His 1994 CD, All in a Night’s Work, was selected “Jazz Album of the Week” by The New York Times. His most recent CD is 2019’s Whyte Witchcraft: Songs of Cy Coleman.

He divides his time between the New York City area and his house in Milford, Pennsylvania. When not performing or writing, he is an avid tennis player, gardener, and gourmet cook.


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