ronnie cuber

aka: Ronald Edward Cuber

born: Dec 25, 1941 in New York, NY, USA

Ronnie Cuber was a saxophone player in the Saturday Night Live band when Frank Zappa was featured as a special guest.

When Zappa did his Chrismas shows in NYC in 1976, Ronnie Cuber was part of the horn section, playing baritone sax and clarinet. Recordings of this concert were used on "Zappa In New York" and on "Lather".



note from Roberta Arnold:

There are also a few records that were made with the Newport Youth Band before the George Benson 4. And a Slide Hampton in 1962 or 63, his first solo performance in which he plays a 5 minute solo that is breathtaking for a teenager.

  1965 benson, george- benson burner (baritone sax)  
  1965 benson, george- it's uptown (saxophone, baritone sax, brass)  
  1965 benson, george- this is jazz (baritone sax)  
  1966 benson, george- george benson cookbook (baritone sax, brass)  
  1969 david clayton thomas (baritone sax)  
  1969 smith, lonnie- move your hand (baritone sax, brass)  
  woody herman: somewhere
    (1969, lp, usa, moon records mcd 030-2p) - featuring bruce fowler and ronnie cuber
  1970 smith, lonnie- drives (baritone sax, brass)  
  1970 smith, lonnie- live at club mozambique (baritone sax)  
  1971 taylor, alex- with friends & neighbours (saxophone)  
  1971 mcfarland, gary- butterscotch rum (reeds)  
  1972 white elephant- white elephant (baritone sax)  
  1972 murphy, mark- stolen...and other moments (baritone sax)  
  1973 palmieri, eddie- sun of latin music (flute, baritone sax)  
  1975 phillips, esther- with joe beck (saxophone)  
  1975 benson, george- good king bad (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1976 matthews, dave [2]- shoogie wanna boogie (saxophone)  
  1976 phillips, esther- capricorn princess (saxophone)  
  1976 green, grant- main attraction (baritone sax)  
  1976 lee, john [1]- still can't say enough (bass, baritone sax)  
  1976 average white band- soul searching  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1976 ronnie cuber- cuber libre  
  1976 benson, george- george benson collection  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1977 benson, george- summertime   (saxophone)  
  1977 larue, d.c.- ten dance   (saxophone)  
  1977 konitz, lee- lee konitz nonet [chiaroscuro]  (baritone sax)  
  1977 romao, dom um- hotmosphere  (saxophone)  
  1977 austin, patti- havana candy  (baritone sax)  
  1977 geils, j. band- monkey island  (saxophone)  
  1977 snow, phoebe- never letting go  (baritone sax)  
  1978 alessi brothers- all for a reason  (horn)  
  1978 benson, george- space album  (saxophone)  
  1978 houston, cissy- think it over  (baritone sax)  
  1978 jebadiah- rock'n'soul  (saxophone)  
  1978 spinozza, david- spinozza  (saxophone)  
  1978 taylor, kate- kate taylor  (baritone)  
  1978 vanleer, thijs- nice to have met you  (saxophone)  
  1978 crawford, hank- cajun sunrise  (saxophone)  
  1978 farrell, joe- la cathedral y el toro  (horn)  
  1978 mingus, charles- me, myself an eye  (baritone sax)  
  1978 mingus, charles- something like a bird  (baritone sax)  
  1978 muhammad, idris- boogie to the top  (saxophone)  
  1978 hinze, chris- bamboo magic  (alto sax, baritone sax)  
  1978 ronnie cuber- the eleventh day of aquarius  
  1978 simon, carly- boys in the trees  (baritone sax)  


frank zappa: zappa in new york
   (1978, 2lp, usa, discreet)

  1978 zager, michael- let's all chant  (wind)  
  1978 animal house- animal house  (horn, baritone sax, horn ensemble)  
  1979 bear, richard t- red hot & blue  (horn)  
  1979 khan, chaka- chaka  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1979 liner- liner  (saxophone)  
  1979 longmire, wilbert- champagne  (saxophone)  
  1979 macdonald, ralph- counterpoint  (horn)  
  1979 mayall, john- bottom line  (wind)  
  1979 gale, eric- part of you  (horn)  
  1979 brignola, nick- burn brigade  (baritone sax)  
  1979 jones, sam- something new  (baritone sax)  
  1979 new york city- new york city band  (saxophone)  
  1979 palmieri, eddie- unfinished masterpiece  (flute, baritone sax, soprano sax)  
  1979 konitz, lee- live at laren  (clarinet, baritone sax)  
  1979 palmieri, eddie- lucumi, macumba, voodoo  (clarinet, baritone sax)  
  1979 watanabe, sadao- morning island  (baritone sax)  
  1979 konitz, lee- yes, yes, nonet  (baritone sax, soprano sax)  
  1980 houston, cissy- step aside for a lady  (saxophone)  
  1980 khan, chaka- naughty  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1980 maelen, jimmy- beats workin'  (saxophone)  
  1980 players association- we got the groove  (saxophone)  
  1980 slick, grace- dreams  (saxophone)  
  1980 shaw, marlena- take a bite  (reeds)  
  1980 steely dan- gaucho  (saxophone)  
  1980 colon, willie- solo  (flute, baritone sax)  
  1980 fame- fame [polydor soundtrack]  (baritone sax)  
  1981 franklin, aretha- love all the hurt away  (horn)  
  1981 geils, j. band- freeze frame  (saxophone)  
  1981 chic- take it off  (baritone sax)  
  1981 ono, yoko- seasons of glass  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1981 king, b.b.- there must be a better world somewh   (baritone sax)  
  1981 ronnie cuber- new york jazz  
  1981 hall, jim- concerto de aranjuez  (bass clarinet, baritone sax)  
  1982 fagen, donald- nightfly  (horn, saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1982 steely dan- gold  (baritone sax)  
  1982 vandross, luther- forever for always for love  (horn)  
  1983 franklin, aretha- get it right  (horn)  
  1983 stamm, marvin- stampede  (saxophone)  
  1983 joel, billy- innocent man  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1983 simon, carly- hello big man  (baritone sax)  
  1983 tramaine- search is over  (saxophone)  
  1984 lennon, julian- valotte  (saxophone)  
  1984 sinatra, frank- l.a. is my lady  (saxophone)  
  1984 james, bob- 12  (horn)  
  1984 patato- masterpiece  (soprano sax)  
  1985 franks, michael- skin dive  (baritone sax)  
  1985 ronnie cuber- passion fruit  
  1985 ronnie cuber- two brothers  
  1985 ronnie cuber- pin point  
  1985 ronnie cuber- best of ronnie cuber  
  1985 joel, billy- greatest hits, vols. 1 & 2 (1973-19  (saxophone, baritone sax, synthesizer, harmonica)  
  1985 chorus line- [original soundtrack]   
  1986 joel, billy- bridge  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1986 ronnie cuber- live at the blue note  
  1986 simon, paul- graceland  (baritone sax, bass sax)  
  1986 rare silk- new weave  (saxophone)  
  1987 vazquez, roland- tides of time  (wind)  
  1988 tyler, bonnie- notes from america  (trombone, baritone sax)  
  1988 love & money- strange kind of love  (harmonica)  
  1988 simon, paul-  negotiations and love songs 1971-19  (baritone sax, bass sax)  
  1988 king, b.b.- king of blues: 1989  (baritone sax)  
  1988 rp all-stars: wqcd - cool sounds of  (baritone sax)  
  1989 clapton, eric- journeyman  (baritone sax)  
  1989 klugh, earl- whispers and promises  (trombone)  
  1989 itoh, kimiko- follow me  (soprano sax)  
  1990 brewer, teresa- cotton connection  (producer)  
  1991 fame, georgie- cool cat blues  (saxophone)  
  1991 two rooms: celebrating the songs of  (baritone sax)  
  1991 deadicated: a tribute to the grateful dead  (arranger, baritone sax, horn arrangements)  
  1991 gadd gang- gadd gang  (baritone sax)  
59 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1992 doctor john- brer rabbit & boss lion  (clarinet, flute, saxophone)  
  1992 geils, j. band- houseparty: anthology  (horn)  
  1992 byrne, david- uh-oh  (bass clarinet, baritone sax)  
  1992 ono, yoko- walking on thin ice compilation  (baritone sax)  
  1992 ono, yoko- ono box  (baritone sax)  
  1992 baker, lavern- woke up this mornin'  (baritone sax)  
  1992 oconnor, sinead- am i not your girl?  (clavichord, baritone sax)  
  1992 vivino brothers- chitlins parmigiana  (baritone sax)  
  1992 king, b.b.- king of the blues [box]  (baritone sax)  
  1992 prelude to a kiss- prelude to a kiss  (baritone sax)  
  1993 klugh, earl- late night guitar  (saxophone, baritone sax)  
  1993 carroll, dina- so close  (horn)  
  1993 put on your green shoes- put on your green shoes  (baritone sax)  
  1993 wilson, kim- tigerman  (arranger, horn, horn arrangements)  
  1993 ronnie cuber- the scene is clean  
  1993 steely dan- citizen steely dan  (baritone sax)  
  1993 fagen, donald- kamakiriad (baritone sax)  
  1993 simon, paul- 1964-1993  (baritone sax, bass sax)  
  1993 mingus big band- mingus big band 93: nostalgia in ti  (reeds)  
  1993 tyner, mccoy- journey  (baritone sax)  
  1994 nguini, vincent- symphony-bantu  (baritone sax)  
  1994 doctor john- television  (arranger, baritone sax, tenor sax)  
  1994 franklin, aretha- greatest hits (1980-1994)            
  1994 austin, patti- best of patti austin  (baritone sax)  
  1994 ronnie cuber- airplay  
  1994 knight, gladys- just for you  (saxophone)  
  1994 wilson, kim- that's life  (horn)  
  1994 dupree, cornell- bop 'n' blues  (baritone sax)  
  1994 belden, bob- shades of blue  (baritone sax)  
  1994 palmieri, eddie- live at sing sing, vol. 1  (saxophone)  
  woody herman: caldonia
    (1994, cd, usa, four star) - featuring bruce fowler and ronnie cuber
  1995 tate, howard- get it while you can: the legendary  (soprano sax)  
  1995 raw stylus- pushing against the flow  (baritone sax)  
  1995 jazz to the world- jazz to the world  (arranger, baritone sax, producer)  
  1995 tee, richard- real time)  
  1996 new groove: the blue note remix  (baritone sax)  
  1996 silver, horace- hard bop grandpop  (baritone sax)  
  1996 back to the basics, vol- back to the basics, vol. 1  (baritone sax)  


frank zappa: lšther
   (1996, 3cd, usa, ryko)
  1996 herwig, conrad- latin side of john coltrane  (baritone sax)  
  1996 incognito- beneath the surface  (baritone sax)  
  1996 cole, freddy- it's crazy, but i'm in love  (saxophone)  
  1996 mingus big band- live in time  (baritone sax)  
  1996 ronnie cuber- in a new york minute  
  1996 fame, george- blues & me  (baritone sax)  
  1996 family thing- family thing  (baritone sax)  


frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)

  1997 t connection- best of t-connection: everything's  (horn)  
  1997 itoh, kimiko- sophisticated lady  (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, baritone sax, tenor sax)                        
  1997 scaggs, boz- come on home  (horn, baritone sax, horn arrangements)  
  1997 king, eddie- another cow's dead  (baritone sax)  
  1997 doctor john- trippin' live  (baritone sax)  
  1997 joel, billy- greatest hits, vol. 3  (baritone sax)  
  1997 ford, robben- tiger walk  (baritone sax)  
  1997 yule be boppin'- yule be boppin'  (baritone sax)  
  1997 messidor's finest: latin jazz highl (sorpano sax)  
  1997 ronnie cuber- n.y.c.ats  
  1997 cti records: the birth of groove  (baritone sax)  
  1997 scaggs, boz- my time: the anthology (1969-1997)  (baritone sax)  
  1997 joel, billy- complete hits collection 1974-1997  (baritone sax)  
  1997 grusin, dave- presents: west side story  (clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone sax)     
  1997 brazilian horizons- brazilian horizons  (saxophone)  
  1997 pulp fusion- pulp fusion  (baritone sax)  
  1997 mingus big band- que viva mingus!  (reeds, arranger, baritone sax)            
  1998 murphy, mark- jazz standards  (baritone sax)  
  1998 joel, billy- bridge/storm front/nylon curtain  (baritone sax)  
  1998 doctor john- anutha zone  (bass clarinet, saxophone, tenor sax, baritone, horn arrangements)  
  1998 pesci, joe- vincent laguardia gambini sings jus  (baritone sax)  
  1998 ronnie cuber- love for sale  
  1998 three baritone saxophon- plays mulligan  (arranger, leader, baritone sax)  
  1999 brazilian horizons, vol- brazilian horizons, vol. 2  (baritone sax)  
  1999 murphy, mark- songbook  (baritone sax)  
   taylor, joe- in sync: projazz sampler #2  (baritone sax)  
   love childs afro-cuban- spandisco  (baritone sax)  
  far cry- more things change  (saxophone)  
  golden, lotti- lotti golden  (horn)  
  saint & stephanie- saint & stephanie  (baritone sax)  
  palmieri, eddie- eddie palmieri & lalo rodriguez  (flute, baritone sax)  
  projazz sampler- projazz sampler  (baritone sax)  
  rosie- better late than never  (baritone sax)  
  rosie- last dance  (horn)  
  eaton, william- struggle buggy  (horn)  
  four decades of jazz a musical hist  (baritone sax)  
  phillips, esther- way to say goodbye  (baritone sax)  
  lost grooves- lost grooves  (baritone sax)  
  woody herman: light my fire
    (2002, cd, usa, fabulous 123) - recorded in 1969, featuring bruce fowler and ronnie cuber
  woody herman: blue flame
    (2003, cd, usa, lester recording catalog) - recorded 1969, featuring bruce fowler
  ronnie cuber with the beets brothers: infra-rae
    (2010, cd, ??, maxanter)
  the gaddabouts: s/t
    (2011, cd, usa, ??) - feat. ronnie cuber
  the gaddabouts: look out now
    (2012, cd, usa, ??) - feat. ronnie cuber


afroskull: to obscurity and beyond
    (2015, cd, usa, skullsound) - feat. ronny cuber

afroskull_toobscurity.jpg (33111 bytes)



random notes

     From: Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide
A powerful baritonist in the tradition of Pepper Adams, Ronnie Cuber has been making excellent records for over 20 years. He was in Marshall Brown's Newport Youth Band at the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival and was featured with the groups of Slide Hampton (1962), Maynard Ferguson (1963-65) and George Benson (1966-67). After stints with Lionel Hampton (1968), Woody Herman's Orchestra (1969) and as a freelancer, he recorded a series of fine albums (both as a leader and as a sideman) for Xanadu and performed with Lee Konitz's nonet (1977-79). In the mid-'80s Cuber recorded for Projazz (in both straightahead and R&Bish settings), in the early '90s he headed dates for Fresh Sound and SteepleChase and Cuber performed regularly with the Mingus Big Band.

     From: Patrick Neve
Ronnie Cuber played baritone sax and clarinet for the 1976 Christmas shows in NYC, the results of which would end up on the albums Zappa in New York and Lšther.  He also appeared with the Zappa band for the Saturday Night Live appearance of December 11th, 1976.

I had a few questions of Ronnie Cuber, which Roberta Arnold, his manager, was nice enough to touch on.  At some point I hope we can hear from the Cube-man himself, but in the meantime, here is Roberta's answers to a few questions I had:


Question # 1. How were you contacted (to play in the band)

At the time Ronnie was the sub-baritone saxophone player on Saturday Night Live Show. Frank was a special guest on the show. He did the sub and got the gig.

#2.Had you all been working as a group before (the horn section)

 Ronnie had been very busy in the studio at the time doing alot of disco, pop and latin dates with some of the Saturday Night Show Band.

#3. How was it scored?

All the scoring was done by Frank. He was like a Mistro!

#4. Was he fair? Your Impressions.

He liked to play the Palladium on 14th St. on Halloween. It was a very alive place. During on the performances, he stopped and said,"Lou Marini, your suppossed to play that part on Soprano not Alto. He wanted a weird effect. He also wrote a piece called The Black Page, dedicated to all studio musicians that would be called to play a few notes and sit around reading newspaper's until their part came. He wrote a page with so many notes it was completely covered with notes. The Black Page.

#5. Recollections.

The horns dressing room was on the 5th floor, and his was on the 1st floor and it was very, very cold, so Ronnie went downstairs to warm up on his horn, on the first floor, he said to Ronnie, "Hey man you wanna jam?"  You want to go on a Rock & Roll Tour, it gets more cold than this.

He would never hold back, he would say anything. He had a woman percussion player and he would yell out, "Hey Babe lets fuck after the rehearsal" and she would be embarrassed and the band would laugh.

# 6.  The Album. (Zappa In New York)

It was pretty frantic. There was so much music to learn and little time to really learn it. It was a great experience. Very challanging for Ronnie. I remember a lot about him.

#7.  Other Memories.

It was Frank Zappa!  He was a star. An Icon. Plus he was a great composer!


So this is it from The Ronz.  Thanks again...

Roberta Arnold, Artist Manager

     From: Roberta Arnold
Jazzchool semester at will start Thursday, September 28th (2000) with guest teacher Ronnie Cuber. His subject will be Cross-Over: The Dance/Pop Approach to Jazz .

To attend a J@zzchool session each Thursday at 2p.m. Eastern Daylight time please email

Also see:


Additional informants:
- j.van kemenade
- Ryan Davenport

frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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